French auto giant PSA Peugeot Citroen, under investigation for allegedly cheating diesel pollution tests, said Wednesday that its car parts division Faurecia was the main engine of growth in sales in the first quarter.
PSA said in a statement that overall group sales advanced by 4.9% to 13.6 billion euros ($14.9 billion) in the period from January to March.
The automobile division -- which comprises the Peugeot, Citroen and DS brands -- lifted sales by 2.5% to 9.0 billion euros.
The car parts division, Faurecia, saw its sales increase by 9.3% to 5.1 billion euros.
Growth was “mainly driven by the product mix improvement ... (which) more than compensated the negative impact of exchange rates,” the statement said.
In terms of unit sales, PSA sold just under 700,000 vehicles worldwide in the January-March period, an increase of 4.2% year-on-year.
“Despite an ever volatile and uncertain economic environment, our agility is more than ever a competitive advantage for achieving our growth and profitability objectives,” said chief financial officer, Jean-Baptiste de Chatillon.
On Monday, Paris prosecutors opened a judicial enquiry into allegations that PSA cheated on diesel pollution tests.
The accusations against PSA are the latest chapter in a huge scandal which erupted in September, 2015, when Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest carmaker, admitted to fitting 11 million cars -- 8.5 million in Europe -- with devices allowing them to fool emission tests.