PSA Peugeot Citroen will have to delay its plans to sell imported Citroen DS models in China, the Shanghai Securities News said today. According to the paper, Citroen’s existing dealers in China balk at the high cost of building new outlets, which Citroen wants to be located near other luxury brands, such as Infiniti or Jaguar and Land Rover.
Hours later, Reuters reached a PSA spokesperson that had been in hiding earlier in the day. Reuters was told that the deal is on schedule, and that 13 of the 16 planned dealerships are already under construction. By the end of this year, the imported DS line will be available in 20 major cities, including Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai, Reuters was told.
This little episode illustrates a common occurrence in the Chinese news cycle: A rumor appears in a paper or one on the thousands of websites that cover the auto beat. Spokespeople cannot be found, or hang up the phone. News stories appear sourcing the article in the Chinese paper. Half a day later, the story is read in Europe, or the U.S. After excited intra-company discussions, the denial follows.