DIRECTIONAL (M) Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of DRB-Hicom Bhd, expects to sell 1,000 Citroen cars this year, up from 700 last year.
The company expects the newly-launched C3 model to help it maintain Citroen's share of 8% of the continental car market in Malaysia.
The company had received 60 bookings for the C3 which was priced at RM98,536 on-the-road.
Directional general manager Amirudin Abdul Kadir said this after the launch of the award winning car in Shah Alam yesterday.
According to Amirudin, the company also planned to introduce another two Citroen models the C8 and Xsara Picasso before end of this year.
So far this year, the company had sold 300 units of the Citroen C5 and the Berlingo models, he said.
Directional would invest between RM800,000 and RM1mil on upgrading its showrooms and to set up its seventh, in Taman Wahyu, Kuala Lumpur.
The company was appointed the sole importer, assembler and distributor of Citroen passenger cars in the Malaysia in 1985 by France-based Automobiles Citroen in 1985.
Automobiles Citroen regional general manager for Southeast Asia Philippe Heno said Malaysia was currently Citroen's biggest market in South East Asia.
In 2002, of 2,000 cars sold in Asean, 700 were in Malaysia.
Heno sees the new models boosting Citroen car sales in Asean by 25% this year. Over the past few years, Citroen cars had registered an average sales growth of 3% to 4%.
We believe Malaysia has a very mature automobile market too, he added.
Heno said Citroen had no plans to assemble the C3 locally due to uncertainties relating to the Asean Free Trade Area ruling on duties and local contents. The rules on duties and local content are not completely fixed. Hence, it is very difficult for a company to decide on local assembly.