PARIS -- PSA Group's vehicle sales fell 13 percent in the first half as lower deliveries in China, South America and the Middle East weighed on its overseas business, challenging the trajectory of the automaker's recovery.
Sales fell to 1.9 million light vehicles in January-June from 2.18 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement on Monday.
In Europe, its biggest market by far, PSA eked out a 0.3 percent gain in sales that lifted its market share to 17.4 percent in an automotive market down 2.5 percent overall.
The Opel-Vauxhall business acquired from General Motors in 2017 saw a slight share gain in Europe. Opel will restart sales in Russia in the next few months starting with the Zafira Life and the Grandland X.
Peugeot's European share was stable in the first half.
PSA recorded sharp declines almost everywhere else, however, with deliveries down a further 61 percent in China, where the group has suffered a protracted sales collapse at its joint ventures with local automakers Dongfeng and Changan. PSA said it is working on action plans with its partners to lower the breakeven point of the JVs.
Sales fell 29 percent in a South American region hit by the Argentinean market downturn and 68 percent in the Middle East-Africa region, punished by the group's forced withdrawal from Iran under threat of U.S. sanctions.
After posting a 7.7 percent operating margin for 2018, PSA's 4.5 percent group profitability goal for 2019-21 still looks conservative, with many investors expecting more.
PSA has recorded successive sales and profit records under CEO Carlos Tavares. The automaker is due to report half-year earnings on July 24.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report