Tuesday 21 April 2020 9:23 am

Peugeot maker PSA sales slump as coronavirus crashes car market

Peugeot manufacturer PSA Group today posted a double-digit decline in sales for the first quarter as it forecast a slump in automotive markets across the globe due to coronavirus.

The French car maker reported revenue of €15.2bn (£13.3bn) in the first three months of the year, down 15.6 per cent on the same period in 2019.

Read more: Peugeot owner PSA roars to record profit as group prepares for Fiat merger

Revenue from its automotive division suffered a similar fall to €11.9bn, driven by a sharp drop in volumes worldwide.

In total the company sold 627,000 cars in the first quarter — a fall of 29 per cent — which it blamed on the Covid-19 crisis.

Revenue from PSA’s automotive supplier Faurecia also declined over the period.

It comes as PSA prepares its mammoth merger with Italian car giant Fiat Chrysler, which is set to complete early next year. The firms have hit back at suggestions that the tie-up will be delayed as a result of the virus.

The company presented a sombre outlook for global car markets in 2020 as a result of the crisis, forecasting a 25 per cent decline in Europe.

It also predicted a 25 per cent drop in Latin America, as well as a 20 per cent fall in Russia and 10 per cent in China.

Read more: Peugeot’s Ellesmere Port factory to go down to four-day week

Despite this, PSA maintained its target of 4.5 per cent adjusted operating margin on average over the 2019 to 2021 period.

Chief financial officer Philippe de Rovira said: “Having secured its liquidity and drastically cut its costs, the group now fully focuses on preparing the rebound in a chaotic economic environment.”