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French Peugeot sales drop by 16.5 % amid eurozone crisis

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The logo of French car maker PSA Peugeot is seen on a car parked in front of French Economy minstry in Paris, September 11, 2012.

French auto-giant Peugeot has reported a 16.5 percent drop in sales of cars and spare parts worldwide as Europe’s financial crisis takes its toll on the country.

The business, known fully as PSA Peugeot Citroen, recorded worldwide unit sales in 2012 of “assembled vehicles and CKD (Completely Knocked Down) units totaled 2,965,000, down 16.5 percent,” the group said in a statement on Wednesday.

Europe’s second-largest carmaker — manufacturing both Peugeot and Citroen cars and spare parts — blames the steep decline in demand partly because of the eurozone crisis.

PSA Peugeot Citroen Brand Director Frederic Saint-Geours said in a statement that “the group is being hit full blast by the lasting fall of European markets” which he expects to worsen.

European Union (EU) sanctions forced the suspension of PSA’s business in Iran in February 2012, which caused a sudden shrink in a large part of the group’s market.

In 2011, the carmaker had sold 457,900 CKD (spare part) units in Iran. The halt of its exports of vehicles to Iran due to international sanctions accounted for around 13 percent of the firm’s global deliveries in 2011.

PSA lost more than 90 percent of the value of its share prices in 2007 and ever since the group has been struggling.

In October, PSA announced plans to shut down a plant north of the capital Paris and 8,000 jobs would go with it.

The controversial plans have stirred criticism from the group’s employees and have sparked angry demonstrations over the planned layoffs.


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