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March 4, 2003

SWITZERLAND: Citroen after extra 1% of European market share in ’03

Citroen said on Tuesday it hoped to nab an extra percentage point of European market share this year thanks to its popular small cars, helping offset sagging demand in key markets, Reuters reported. Brand chief Claude Satinet told Reuters on the sidelines of the Geneva motor show that he was aiming to win 7.7% of the western European car and light truck market in 2003, up around one percentage point from last year.

By bcusack

Citroen said on Tuesday it hoped to nab an extra percentage point of European market share this year thanks to its popular small cars, helping offset sagging demand in key markets, Reuters reported.

Brand chief Claude Satinet told Reuters on the sidelines of the Geneva motor show that he was aiming to win 7.7% of the western European car and light truck market in 2003, up around one percentage point from last year.

“Our market share will be good – 7.7% seems a good target,” he told the news agency, adding that Citroen’s growth would outpace that of its larger sister Peugeot.

Satinet said at a news conference at the show that Citroen had kicked off the year in style, estimating sales of its cars and light trucks in western Europe had increased 14% in February, despite a 4% dip by the market as a whole.

According to Reuters, this would take its share of the car and light utility vehicle market in February to 7.7% – up one percentage point from the same month last year and a level Satinet hoped the firm would maintain for the whole year.

Separately, Reuters reported, PSA said in a statement that it estimated the group’s European market share in February was 16.7%, up from 16.5% in January.

The company as a whole, including both Citroen and Peugeot, grabbed almost 15% of European car market share in 2002 and has said it aimed to improve this in 2003 as it continues to boost sales despite waning demand, Reuters said.

Citroen grabbed 7.3% of the European new car market in January, after ending 2002 with a 6.2% slice of the market. Official European figures for February are due out later this month.

Satinet told Reuters he expected the European market as a whole to dip by between zero and 2%, echoing an earlier estimate by PSA Chairman Jean-Martin Folz, and said he could not comment on whether a war in Iraq could stifle demand further.

Citroen is aiming to sell between 1.35 and 1.4 million cars globally in 2003, meaning it will still lag sales of Peugeot cars, but will account for a heftier proportion of total group sales than it did last year, Reuters reported.

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