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Dongfeng, Peugeot tie-up not limited to Asia Pacific

The chairman of China's Dongfeng Motor Group (0489.HK) said on Friday that cooperation with French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen (PEUP.PA) is not limited to the Asia-Pacific, and that Brazil and Russia are possible future markets.

The Asia-Pacific region is just a "starting point" for the two firms' collaboration, Donfeng chairman Xu Ping told a media briefing in Beijing. The two companies officially signed an alliance earlier this week that will give a much-needed cash injection to the troubled French automaker.

The two firms, which have a well-established joint venture in China, announced they would deepen their business in the country and planned to triple total sales to 1.5 million vehicles by 2020. They also aim to jointly build a presence in Southeast Asia.

Chinese carmakers, including Dongfeng, have been ramping up overseas expansion by building manufacturing plants overseas and taking stakes in struggling foreign carmakers.

Earlier this week in Paris, during Chinese president Xi Jinping's European tour, top officials from Dongfeng and Peugeot sealed a framework deal for state-owned Dongfeng and the French government to take matching 14 percent stakes in Peugeot in a three billion euro ($4.1 billion) deal.

Dongfeng and Peugeot plan to develop new cars in an effort to grab a bigger share of China's huge auto market, which is projected to grow further through 2020. They also hope to export more cars to other markets in Asia, especially those in the populous Southeast Asia region.

[Source: Reuters, Beijing, 28Mar14]

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