Report: PSA/Peugeot-Citroen may shelve plans to sell hybrid cars in China

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 6, 2010

PSA/Peugeot-Citroen wants its technology to remain under its control and if Beijing doesn’t soften demands that foreign automakers hand over technology in return for market access, it may drop plans to sell hybrid cars in China.

Programs and engineering chief Guillame Faury said that PSA is waiting for China to enact planned legislation on foreign investment before starting the development of the gasoline-electric vehicles.

At the Paris auto show last week, Faury said that its strategy is to be in China and bring its best technology there. Carmakers are scratching their heads over what to do with this predicament especially since they’re all eager to expand in China, which edged the US out and became the world's largest auto market.

Nissan Motor Co. is assessing potential Chinese demand for its Leaf electric car as it considers joint production with local partner Dongfeng Motor Group Co.

In an interview, Nissan Senior Vice President Andy Palmer said that the company has to make sure that the “batteries aren't simply going to be replicated.” He said that the “transfer of technology is bound to be a discussion point.”

Chief Financial Officer Frederic Saint Geours said that it is hoping that Beijing will “tone down” a draft law and reconsider its position for the companies’ key innovations to be controlled through structures that are majority-owned by Chinese partners.

PSA's Chinese joint venture (also with Dongfeng) and a second partnership it's finalizing with China Chang'an Automobile Group Co. are under 50-50 ownership. [via autonews - sub. required]

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