Peugeot lion emblem on sheetmetal

The clouds that have been darkening the forecast for Peugeot just keep getting darker. The latest storm front involves the risk of being delisted from the CAC 40, the benchmark index composed of the 40 companies with the "most significant values" among the the companies with the top 100 market capitalizations listed on Euronext Paris (the French stock market). The blow wouldn't just hit Peugeot's prestige, but it's stock price, too – and that has already sunk so low in the five months since General Motors bought into Peugeot that GM is looking at taking a €174 million ($215M U.S.) charge.

Peugeot's market-cap of 2.4 billion euros – roughly $3B U.S. – is 77th out of the top 100 companies on Euronext by valuation. That's where the phrase "most significant values" comes in; even though it's already well outside the numeric cutoff, the selection committee for the CAC 40 has discretion and Peugeot is a marquee French company. This is also where politics come in – cutting Peugeot from the top ranks, even if only in name, especially with speculation that the carmaker would be replaced by a Belgian chemical company, would hurt far beyond the company walls.

A meeting of the selecting committee is expected to take place the first week of September, and analysts believe that, short of "an exceptionally 'political decision,'" Peugeot will find itself outside the club. In that case, analysts expect further selling pressure on Peugeot stock to the tune of seven million shares, which would force the its price even lower. The sooner the automaker can get the French government behind its plan to cut its overcapacity in factories and plant personnel, the sooner it can begin to put a stop to the gloom.