Despite disappointing August sales figures in Europe, Peugeot director general Maxime Picat told reporters in London, the French brand has turned a corner and is becoming less reliant on its home region.

Car sales fell 5% in August compared with the same month last year with PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and the Volkswagen group hit hardest by the eurozone slump.

PSA, Europe's second biggest carmaker, posted an 18% fall in the month and its market share fell 11% in the first eight months of 2013, down almost a percentage point year on year.

However, Picat said: "Our internationalisation plan is on track. We are now selling 45% of our vehicles outside Europe against 25% a year ago. As our home markets stagnate, we need to concentrate more on emerging and growing markets."

Peugeot's plan to push the brand upmarket is also on track, he said, although this does not mean competing with premium brands such as BMW, Mercedes or Audi.

He added: "This is not just about cars but about the quality of our products and services and providing full mobility solutions. We also have to be able to adapt to market conditions much more quickly.

"In China now we have new, younger customers who are still excited about cars while in Europe it's all about being connected while you are in the car."

Picat, who spent five years in China with PSA before returning as Peugeot brand chief last year, said that the priority is now to improve the carmaker's image and make sure it is sufficiently separated from stablemate Citroen.

He added: "We have to look at how we sell cars in a better way and we have all the ingredients within Peugeot. We also have to make sure we do not copy Citroen and end up fighting for customers in the same market."

The brand, he said, would continue to look at complete mobility solutions such as 'Mu by Peugeot', where customers can buy into a scheme to change their vehicle to suit their needs. The scheme provides access to anything from a bicycle to a 3.5-tonne van, a child seat, a roof box, a scooter, or a sports coupé.

As far as technology is concerned, Peugeot will continue on the hybrid route he said, adding that pure electric vehicle sales have been disappointing.

He added: "EV sales are lower than even our lowest forecast and even if the hopes of 5% total global sales by 2020 are realised that is not a huge market in any scenario."