PARIS (Reuters) -- PSA/Peugeot-Citroen's first-half vehicle deliveries rose 6 percent, the carmaker said today, as a European recovery and Chinese expansion made up for a currency-driven sales collapse in the rest of the world.
Global deliveries increased to 1.54 million vehicles in January-June from 1.46 million a year earlier, PSA said in a statement.
The carmaker, which is struggling to return to profitability under new CEO Carlos Tavares, gained European market share with the help of new models and recovering demand in France, Spain and the UK.
Sales rose 28 percent in China, where the group is making up for lost time by expanding production in separate joint ventures with Changan Automobile Group and Dongfeng Motor Group, which has a 14 percent stake in the French automaker.
But PSA blamed a weakening of emerging-market currencies for a brutal sales decline in almost every other major market.
"The ruble-euro exchange rate is particularly devastating," Peugeot CEO Maxime Picat told reporters in Paris.
Political tensions and slowing economies have combined to create "sharply deteriorated situations" in many emerging markets, Picat added. "It's a pretty explosive cocktail."
PSA said European sales advanced 12 percent to 956,000 cars and trucks, almost doubling the market's growth rate.
But deliveries plunged by 27 percent in Latin America, 26 percent in Russia and 37 percent in Africa and the Middle East -- far outpacing each market's decline.
Weaker currencies have hurt PSA's overseas competitiveness because it buys a smaller share of components locally than major rivals such as Renault in Russia, for example.
By 2018, Tavares has pledged to increase Russian sourcing to 50 percent of parts used at the company's Kaluga plant from just 30 percent last year. A similar goal exists for Latin America.
If the emerging markets slowdown continues, however, shrinking volumes could endanger that effort as well as the company's goal of generating 50 percent of its global sales outside its home region by 2016.
Europe's share of global deliveries actually rose 3.4 percentage points to 62 percent in the first half, largely the result of PSA's wipeout in emerging markets.
"We are becoming a little more dependent on Europe again, which is bad news for our internationalization goal," Picat said. "But we're not going to complain if Europe is doing better."