French
car maker Citroen is to build its Xsara Picasso compact family MPV at Wuhan’s
Dongfeng Citroen Automotive Corp. factory in the second half of 2001. The cars
will be sold in China and exported to South America.

Citroen hopes to build 2,000 to 3,000 vehicles this year and increase production
to 10,000 in 2002 depending on demand.

Local reports say that the decision to start Chinese production was prompted
by positive responses from consumer clinics in Beijing and Canton last year,
as well as a presentation at the Beijing Motor Show held last June.

The decision by PSA to exit the struggling venture with Guangzhou (now under
Honda’s control) has allowed the company to consolidate all Chinese production
at Wuhan.

Last year Citroen sold 52,000 vehicles in China – an increase of 17 per cent
– and accounted for nearly nine per cent of the passenger car market.
Citroen sold 150,000 units of the Xsara Picasso in Europe last year.