PSA Peugeot Citroen says its global market share increased to 5.1% in 2009, despite a slight 2.2% decline in total sales.

For 2010, the French auto maker is optimistic regarding all markets except Europe, where the group expects sales to fall 8%.

Government incentives in 13 countries last year kept total industry sales in the region down 5.4% from 2008. PSA brands sales in Europe slid 3.5%, for a 0.7 percentage point increase in share to 14.4%.

PSA is banking on vehicles introduced in 2009, such as the Peugeot 206+ and Citroen C3 Picasso, to help bolster sales this year, as the auto maker plans to launch only a few models in niche segments.

Peugeot will introduce the RCZ roadster and Citroen will launch the DS3. Both brands will launch their own versions of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric vehicle, to be called the Peugeot iOn and Citroen C-Zero.

Citroen delivered 86,000 C3 Picassos last year, beating its sales expectations.

Peugeot General Manager Jean-Marc Gales says the brand has sold 102,000 units of the 206+ so far, which he calls a steady pace beyond our initial objectives (that) allows us to increase production from 465 to 800 units a day.”

As for EVs, the auto maker has 4,000 orders for its electric cars, Gales says, to be delivered between launch this fall and 2012.

Meanwhile, PSA says it is committed to increasing production in France, unlike Renault SA’s strategy to move output to lower-cost countries.

“The current trend for our group is to want to increase production in France, thanks to cost reductions,” says Gales. PSA manufactured 1,452,000 vehicles and sold 814,000 in France last year.

Although its lineup will not grow much in 2010, PSA still will offer low-emissions cars that it is betting will remain popular in the slow economy.

Average carbon-dioxide emissions for PSA’s vehicle fleet in Europe last year were 136.2 g/km, down from 140.1 g/km in 2008. In 2009, the auto maker sold 979,000 vehicles that emitted less than 130 g/km of CO2.

“We want to confirm our leadership in the area of vehicles with little CO2 emissions by more improvements in our internal-combustion engines and in launching our electric vehicles, (the) iOn and C-Zero,” Gales says.

Although Europe’s light-commercial-vehicle sales last year tumbled 29.3%, PSA still reinforced its leadership in the sector with its share climbing to 22.2%.

Outside Europe, PSA sales rose 2.4%, increasing the group’s non-European presence from 31.6% in 2008 to 33.1%. Sales in China jumped 52%, and the market now is PSA‘s second largest after France.