PSA has declined 41% this year, the steepest decline among European automakers, expanding the gap to Volkswagen’s shares to €91 from a 10-year average of €16. Its €3.8 billion ($5.2 billion) market value is less than one-tenth of 2010 annual revenue of €56 billion.

PSA’s efforts to reduce dependence on Europe through emerging-market expansion may be too late to prevent PSA from taking the brunt of a downturn, investors said. The first-half operating margin at Peugeot’s automotive division fell to 1.8% from 2.5%. The slump in the French company’s stock means PSA is valued at €2,096 per car sold in the first half versus €11,334 for every vehicle sold by VW. The carmaker’s eight-month European market share nonetheless declined to12.9% from 13.7% a year earlier. VW was up to 23.2% from 21.4%.