GENEVA -- Peugeot sees China as the biggest market for its new mid-sized 508 sedan.
The French brand will introduce the 508 in Europe at the start of next year. The car will be “90 percent” the same as the “5 by Peugeot” concept unveiled at the Geneva auto show, said Jean-Marc Gales, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen board member in charge of the Peugeot and Citroen brands.
The 508 will launch in China six months after its European introduction. China will be the biggest market for the car “by quite some margin,” Gales told Automotive News Europe at the auto show, while declining to predict how many will be sold there.
Winning sales in the growing Chinese market is important for automakers as they look to offset falling volumes in Europe and elsewhere.
PSA already has a joint venture with automaker Dongfeng Motor Co and any 508 vehicles sold in China are likely to be produced locally.
Gales said on January 25 that PSA achieved a 3.4 percent market share in China last year.
PSA is aiming to achieve 8 percent share in China by 2016
While the United States and Europe grapple with the fallout from the global recession, China's economy grew by 8.7 percent in 2009 and an ever-growing middle-class has boosted the country's demand for premium sedans and limousines.
Some 13.5 million cars were sold in China in 2009, overtaking the United States as the world's biggest auto market.