Citroën is aiming to triple its sales in China to 250,000 cars a year by 2006, giving it 12% of the Chinese market and the number one car sales position.

Dongfeng Citroën, the French car maker’s joint venture in China, sold 85,000 cars last year and is aiming for 100,000 vehicles in 2003 and 150,000 cars in 2004.

The Fukang (ZX), Elysee and Picasso models will be joined by the Xsara range this year, with prices starting at 200,000 Yuan for the entry level, 2.0 litre five door.

China’s car market boomed last year, with sales topping one million vehicles for the first time thanks to rising incomes, lower import tariffs and an explosion of new economy models hitting dealerships.

“We plan to control around 12% of the domestic car market within the next three to four years and to become the No. 1 carmaker for Chinese families,” said Dongfeng Citroën general manager Liu Weidong.

“We are investing $US120 million in boosting production and launching new models for the Chinese market, providing a full range of vehicles for all sectors of our market.”