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French carmaker, Groupe PSA, formely known as “PSA Peugeot Citroën”, has announced it plans to build a new factory in Southeast Asia, with a focus on Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
The automotive Group, which inaugurated a plant in Chengdu, China, in July 2016, said this time the new project will be set up with a local partner "to avoid beginner’s' mistakes". The construction is scheduled for 2018.
PSA’s international expansion aims to catch up with rivals such as Volkswagen Group, which has been more successful at boosting profits in Asia's growing automotive markets.
The French automaker’s growth plan follows years of restructuring as well as a bailout by the French government and Chinese Dongfeng Motor in 2014. Both parties now own 14% stakes in Groupe PSA.
Carlos Tavares, CEO, PSA said the company will expand into Iran and India, and return to the U.S. within 10 years. An assembly plant is also planned in Morocco for 2019 and there are ongoing talks with the Algerian government.
PSA's cooperation with Dongfeng is said to have failed to meet expectations so far as sales in China dropped more than 19% in the first half of 2016 to 297,000 units, despite a tax cut boosting overall industry demand.
Currently, over 60% of PSA’s cars are sold in Europe.
Sources: Automotive News/Bloomberg