By Gong Zhengzheng (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-04-04 06:04

French car maker PSA Peugeot Citroen plans to build a new car plant and launch a slew of new models in China to boost sales in the world's third-biggest and fastest-growing car market.

Yves Boutin, chief representative of PSA Peugeot Citroen in China, yesterday said the group would build a new manufacturing base with its Chinese partner Dongfeng Motor Corp.

The new plant will be a part of PSA Peugeot Citroen's existing joint venture with Dongfeng. The venture is based in Wuhan, capital of Central China's Hubei Province.

Boutin said details such as location, annual production capacity and investment size of the new plant would be revealed in July.

The French carmaker will introduce nine new models into the joint venture or Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen from 2006 to 2009, Boutin said.

The new plant and product plans seem to rule out the possibility of PSA Peugeot Citroen seeking a new Chinese partner in the near-term.

Last year, the French carmaker was reportedly in talks with Hafei Automobile Co Ltd Mitsubishi Motors' partner in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province and Jinhua Youngman Group, a small privately-owned manufacturer of trucks and buses in Zhejiang Province.

Boutin said that annual sales of Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen would reach 300,000 cars in 2008.

The venture sold 140,000 cars in 2005, surging by 57.5 per cent year-on-year. This represented a sharp rebound from a 14-per cent tumble in 2004.

Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen announced earlier this year that it aimed to increase sales to more than 200,000 cars this year.

The venture...