PSA/Peugeot-Citroen says it plans to expand into India with commercial and industrial operations through its Peugeot brand, initially producing a mid-sized sedan. The company has recently opened headquarters in Mumbai.
Several possible production locations are being considered and the group will give details of how much it will invest once the plan is more clearly established, PSA's CEO Philippe Varin told a news conference Wednesday. Varin declined to give a precise timetable for the India project but said he hoped the company would make a "significant step forward" in 2011.
In December the automaker said that its plans to build a factory in India were in an “active phase.” In 2009, Peugeot suspended a project to build a plant near Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh state, pending the outcome of negotiations for a share swap with Mitsubishi Motors Corp.
“India is a key market and this new implantation reflects our ambition to become a global player. As in China, we will offer Indian customers vehicles adapted to their expectations,” said Gregoire Olivier, executive vice-president of PSA Asia.
PSA seeks non-European growth
PSA is negotiating to build new factories in India and China as it seeks to reduce Europe's share of its sales to 50 percent in 2015 from 61 percent last year.
PSA says it sees the Chinese market growing 10 percent this year, Latin America 4 percent, and Russia 15 percent. The company says it expects authorities to grant approval for its second China joint venture, with Changan, on light commercial vehicles and the Citroen DS range, in the first half of 2011.
The company posted full-year net income of 1.13 billion euros ($1.55 billion) in 2010, versus a 2009 loss of 1.16 billion.
Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this report