How Peugeot hopes to sell more by offering less

Marion Dakers

Peugeot Citroen has decided to offer drivers less, in the hope that fewer, better models will help to boost its sales.

The loss-making French car company is slashing the number of models it makes from 45 down to 26 as part of its recovery plan set out today.

The turnaround plan has been dubbed Back in the Race – it comes with its own logo, complete with go-faster stripes – and aims to return the company to positive free cash flow by 2016.

The car firm, which signed a rescue deal with Chinese group Dongfeng and the French government in February, said it will “take the example and reference of what we have successfully done in China” as part of its overhaul.

No word yet on which models will be chopped as part of the plan, though boss Carlos Tavares said all three brands – Peugeot, Citroen and DS – will be kept.

The strategy of selling more by offering customers less has been attempted several times in recent years, to huge success at Apple and somewhat less at Sony.

Peugeot’s search for better margins and fewer products will also mean more research and development will be moved outside of France, a strategy that has already been slammed by the unions.