PSA's vehicle sales rose 4% in fourth quarter as China demand climbs

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PARIS (Bloomberg) -- PSA/Peugeot-Citroen increased vehicle sales by 4 percent in the fourth quarter, stemming its decline for the year as the company seeks to raise money to fund a turnaround plan.

Deliveries in the last three months of 2013 rose to 748,000 vehicles, boosted by demand for the 2008 crossover and 308 hatchback, PSA said today in a statement.

Full-year sales fell 5 percent to 2.82 million cars and light commercial vehicles.

PSA helped offset weakness in Europe by expanding sales overseas. Deliveries outside its home region accounted for 42 percent of total sales last year. The company has a target of selling half of its cars outside Europe by 2015.

The automaker's deliveries in China climbed 26 percent to 557,000 vehicles last year. New models in China include the Peugeot 3008 and the Citroen C4L sedan. Sales in Latin America rose nearly 7 percent 303,000 autos, PSA said.

PSA's European registrations fell 9 percent last year, the steepest drop among the top 10 sellers in the region, according to figures from the ACEA trade group. A ranking published by industry magazine Autohaus PulsSchlag of carmakers' price cuts in Germany included PSA and Renault among the top three discounters every month in 2013.

PSA is struggling to end losses following a European auto-market contraction that lasted into a sixth year in 2013.

The automaker's reorganization has included moves to add models and shutter an auto plant at Aulnay near Paris. The company hired Carlos Tavares, a former manager at competitor Renault, to become CEO later this year.

PSA's board met yesterday to discuss plans to raise about 3 billion euros ($4.1 billion), according to people familiar with the matter. Under the proposal, Chinese partner Dongfeng Motor Corp. and the French state would each contribute at least 500 million euros in exchange for holdings of about 10 percent of PSA's stock. The remaining funds would be raised through a share sale, the people said on Jan. 17.

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