STRONG SALES IN 2016: PSA (Peugeot-Citroen) reports it sold more than 3-million cars worldwide in 2016. Image: Motorpics
Paris - In late December 2016, Citroen South Africa announced they would no longer be importing new cars into the country.
The automaker adds that it will continue to honour vehicle warranties and service plans of existing customers via the PCSA dealer network.
While sales in South Africa were dire, on Wednesday PSA (Peugeot-Citroen) reported a rise in car unit sales for 2016 thanks to business in Iran which the carmaker is including again after the end to sanctions against Tehran.
With the integration of sales from joint ventures and licence agreements in Iran, Peugeot booked a rise in deliveries of 5.6%. On a comparable basis, without the integration of the Iranian contribution, the figure dropped by 2% from 2015.
3-million units sold
The group's three brands Peugeot, Citroen and DS, sold just over 3-million cars in 2016, of which 233 000 were produced under licence in Iran. In 2015, the group sold 2.9-million units.
PSA's post-sanctions return to Iran resulted in joint ventures with local companies Iran Khodro and Saipa, and a partnership with Arian Motor.
More: Citroen South Africa: No more new sales
These partners continued to build and sell Peugeot cars under licence for four years during the sanctions regime, but PSA did not consolidate these sales into its accounts until 2016.
The Peugeot brand, which makes up around 60% of the group's total, saw a rise of 12.3% in sales thanks to Iran, but a fall of 1.4% without the Iranian turnover.
Drop in sales globally
Global Citroen brand sales dropped 1.7% and DS by 16%.
Sales in Iran were "the result of the good work done by the brand and the Middle East and Africa region to restart business with our colleagues in Iran", Peugeot brand director Jean-Philippe Imparato told AFP.
Europe group director Maxime Picat told BFM Business that he was "delighted to see our Iran sales back on the books. And this is just the first stage".
The local joint ventures were "the start of a powerful push" in Iran, he said.
In Europe, PSA's main market, unit sales grew by 3.6%.
In China and southeast Asia, however, sales dropped by 16% due to "an intensely competitive environment", the company said.
In Russia, sales fell by 12.6%, in line with the overall car market which has suffered from the country's economic crisis.