Tough times at PSA Peugeot Citroen which saw sales fall seven percent in the early part of the year and says things will be difficult until at least the summer.
France’s biggest carmaker blames sagging demand in its domestic and key southern European markets.
Peugeot is trying to reduce its dependence on Europe, with a push into China.
Chief executive Philippe Varin’s ambitious Chinese expansion plan is led by higher-end Citroen DS models soon to be launched in China and shown this week at the Beijing car show.
It has also entered into an alliance with US firm General Motors designed to eventually cut costs.
PSA Peugeot Citroen’s revenue in the first quarter of 2012 fell to 14.3 billion euros and sales in its automotive division fell 14 percent to 9.72 billion euros.
Along with Italy’s Fiat, Peugeot was among the biggest casualties of Europe’s shrinking car market in the quarter when sales fell 7.3 percent, according to data from the Association of European Automakers.
All major car makers except Volkswagen lost money in Europe last year. In the US, by contrast, where Peugeot does not sell cars, first quarter sales surged to a four-year high, while Asian markets like India and China have also seen growth rates picking up.