Peugeot Citroen hit by 'crisis' in European car sales

Peugeot logo The carmaker said it had felt the "full force" of the decline in Europe's car markets

Peugeot Citroen saw its global sales fall sharply last year, which it blamed on "the crisis affecting the European automobile market".

Sales worldwide were down 16.5%, the French company said.

The company's sales in Europe were down 8.6%, with big falls in the recession-hit southern European states.

Sales in Spain were down 14.9% last year, while in Italy they dropped by 20.9%. In France, Peugeot's sales were down by 13.3%.

Peugeot also said it had been affected by pulling out of Iran.

The company sold 2.97 million vehicles globally in 2012, down from 3.55 million in 2011.

Peugeot Citroen brands chief Frederic Saint-Geours said: "PSA Peugeot Citroen has felt the full force of the sustained decline in Europe's automobile markets."

However, its sales did rise in some markets. In Russia they were up by 10.1%, in China they rose 7.2%, and in Latin America they were 5.6% higher.

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