Owner of the Peugeot, Citroen and DS brands, and also now of Vauxhall, PSA Group has long been one of the UK's leading carmakers. However, performance has been lacklustre in recent years. Like other mass-market auto manufacturers, PSA's sales came under intense pressure in the mid-to-late 2000s, prompting the group to shift its focus towards higher-priced cars. That led to the relaunch of the old Citroen DS model as a standalone premium brand. However, a short-lived increase in DS volumes failed to offset a significant slump in sales of other Citroen models. Another factor was a group-wide price rise to offset the falling value of sterling. As a result, PSA slipped out of the Top Five groups in 2016. It came back strongly during 2017 following the deal to acquire GM's European business, including Vauxhall, now the UK's #3 passenger car brand. (It lost its #2 rank for the first time in decades in 2017). Despite further double digit percentage declines across all its brands, PSA was catapulted back into the upper ranks, becoming the UK's second largest car company after Volkswagen, with combined share of 13.3%. Despite their shared ownership, the Peugeot and Citroen brands have always traditionally operated independently of one another, even if several functions, including marketing, have been centralised. Peugeot is the bigger brand, with local sales of 82k passenger cars in 2017, to Citroen's 51k units and 9k for DS. Sales continued to decline during 2018. The group also sold a combined total of 91k commercial vehicles in 2017 across the Peugeot, Citroen and Vauxhall brands, putting it in second position overall behind Ford. Stephane Le Guevel is CEO of PSA Groupe UK. Declared revenues for 2017 were £36.5m, with net profit of £9.0m. Although Peugeot and Citroen cars had been available in the UK in limited quantities as imports, the company only established a significant local presence for the first time following the 1978 acquisition from Chrysler of parts of local manufacturers Rootes and Simca. This included the Anglo-French Talbot business, originally founded in 1902. PSA closed its last UK manufacturing facility in 2006. See also the full Adbrands profile for PSA Peugeot Citroen.
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Capsule checked 30th December 2018
Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd Aug 2017: A new auto giant is born. PSA Groupe of France completed the acquisition this week of GM Europe, adding the Opel and Vauxhall brands to its stable alongside Peugeot, Citroen and DS. "We are witnessing the birth of a true European champion today," said PSA CEO Carlos Tavares. "We will assist Opel and Vauxhall’s return to profitability and aim to set new industry benchmarks together. We will unleash the power of these iconic brands and the huge potential of its existing talents. Opel will remain German, Vauxhall will remain British." PSA leapfrogs Renault to become the undisputed #2 in the European car market with around 17% regional share. Volkswagen still leads the pack with over 23% of new registrations, while Renault has 10.5%.
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