China is the house that every robber baron is trying to break into. PSA Peugeot Citroën has been in-country since the early eighties, getting there with Volkswagen, but the French brand largely spent its time sniffing the plum blossoms while the German brand grabbed the dragon and tamed it. No more: PSA expects China to be its largest market by 2015, and it has spent more than a year rearranging its affairs to make a cohesive push for Chinese hearts and minds and renminbi.

After rationalizing its business operations there, Peugeot will move its wares upmarket to put space between it and Citroën, the Citroën DS line will be a standalone brand - the only place in the world where that will be the case – and according to a report in Businessweek both brands will heavily promote their association with French luxury by giving away wine and perfume to those who visit dealerships.

France, as the number one destination for Chinese tourists, does have a strong pull for the locals. But those visitors are interested in France mainly because of brands like Louboutin and Louis Vuitton, so it will take time and serious investment to find out if "premium mainstream" and "near-premium" brands can truly form a consumer bond with some of the definitive marques for sybarites.

At least the investment part isn't in question: PSA has outspent its German rivals for ad time on Chinese television, built a flagship DS World Boutique in Shanghai, will have its third plant ready to produce vehicles by the end of the year and plans to increase its dealer network coverage between the three brands from 65 percent of the country to 85 percent by 2015.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Would not be surprised if PSA ends up being Chinese owned just like Volvo.
      wrestleprocbt
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wonder if Peugoet will ever come to the US.
      adam1keith1980
      • 1 Year Ago
      I will not be surprised that there will be special edition collaborations with fashion houses. The Italians have been doing it for years, with the latest being the Maserati Quattroporte E. Zegna. The challenge for all European cars is reliability. The Chinese don't accept frequent visits for repairs, and they make it very publicly with smashing of lemons.
        jason32379
        • 1 Year Ago
        @adam1keith1980
        You can't lump all European cars and "reliability" by mentioning only Maserati's (and especially Italian cars). You're clearly not living in the present.
          adam1keith1980
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jason32379
          You are clearly not living in the reality if you think any European car is cheaper to run than an equivalent Japanese car in the long term.
      _M7_
      • 1 Year Ago
      FRENCH QUALITY .....WAAAAAAAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJA...thats a good one XD anyone who have try to fix one of thos will understand
      Eta Carinae
      • 1 Year Ago
      The french sure do know what there doing when it comes to wine........cars ? Not so much
      • 1 Year Ago
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