PSA Peugeot-Citroen says its overall sales were 3.1 million units in 2001, an 11.3% jump over 2000 sales levels. The company says it expects overall sales for 2002 to rise 3.7% to 3.25 million units and maintains its commitment to sell 3.5 million units by 2004.

The sales increase for 2001 is attributed to the success of the Peugeot 206 and 307 models, as well as the Citroen Xsara Picasso minivan.

On an individual brand basis, sales of Peugeot vehicles rose 13.3% during the year to 1.89 million units. Most of the gain came on the back of a 16% increase in sales of the 206 compact model, which Peugeot says surpassed the Volkswagen Golf as Europe's best-selling car during the second half of 2001.

The 307 achieved sales of 231,000 units in the eight months since its launch earlier this year. Citroen-brand vehicle sales were up 8.3% compared with year ago to 1.235 million units. Sales of the Xsara minivan ended the year at 231,000 units for the year.

An influx of new models in the near term is expected to help PSA boost its operating margin from an anticipated 4.8% in 2001 to 6% by 2004.