Philippe Varin, Chairman of the Managing Board of PSA Peugeot Citroën, has inaugurated the third plant operated by Dongfeng Peugeot Citroën Automobiles (DPCA), the group's joint venture with Dongfeng, in Wuhan, China.

This third plant will lift DPCA's production capacity from 450,000 to 600,000 vehicles per year as from 2013 and to 750,000 vehicles in 2015.

The plant's inauguration will allow the partners to begin production of the new Citroën C-Elysée, which it says "represents a new step in DPCA's sales offensive". Wuhan 3 will also produce the Peugeot 301 by the end of 2013.

The Citroën C-Elysée will be the second model to reach the Chinese market this year, following the lead of the Citroën C4L launched in early 2013. 

PSA says the Group has now passed a new milestone in its development in China, the world's leading automobile market. DPCA confirmed its market share target of 5% for 2015, supported by its on-going sales offensive.

Back in 2009, PSA Peugeot Citroën identified China as one of its three priority development regions in its strategy of international expansion. The company says it is "beginning to see the results of this focus, with sales growing twice as fast as the overall market. Over the first six months of 2013, DPCA's sales rose by 33% to nearly 277,000 units compared with the same period in 2012, whereas the Chinese market advanced by 16%".

PSA is keen to emphasise its global footprint and divert attention from its ongoing troubles in Europe where it is losing money with little prospect of a return to profitability.

PSA is rumoured to be in high-level talks with 'strategic partner' General Motors - also losing money with Opel - over the possible consolidation of the two companies' European manufacturing operations to reduce overcapacity for both. 

See also: FRANCE: Peugeot family could cede control of PSA to GM – report

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