“China is the biggest market in the world. We want to become a global car maker, so it is important for us to be successful in China,” said Tavares.
He acknowledged that “so far this is not the case” and that the company “is not going in the right direction” in China. Sales dropped by around 16% in China and south-east Asia last year, due to a pricing war that led PSA to restructure its activities to reduce costs.
Tavares, speaking at the Citroën C5 Aircross reveal in Shanghai, added: “Being successful in China shows we are capable of being a global car maker. That’s why it’s strategic for us to be here."
Tavares said with all its brands now offering fresh, competitive SUVs – Peugeot’s 3008 (called 4008 in China) and 5008, the C5 Aircross for Citroën and the DS 7 Crossback – it was now in a good position to fight back. “The good news is that many things can be improved,” he said. “Now the implementation needs to be done."