Everyone seems to be selling more cars than ever. Fresh from learning that the Volkswagen Group has sold a company record 5.5 million vehicles in the first half of 2018, we now read that its French rival, Groupe PSA, has done a personal best.

The PSA Group – which has Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel and Vauxhall brands – sold 2,181,800 units in H1 2018. That’s 38.1% growth compared to the first half of 2017, and an all-time record for the company. The good performance is attributed to the company’s SUV offensive and European leadership in light commercial vehicles (LCV) for Peugeot, Citroen and former GM brands Opel/Vauxhall.

We start with SUVs, the hottest bodystyle in the market now. PSA’s SUV offensive saw 13 models launched worldwide by the five brands, resulting in sales of 609,300 units – that’s nearly 28% of the group’s total sales. At the end of May, PSA was number two in the overall European SUV segment with a market share of 16.9%, and leader in the continent’s B-SUV segment.

Peugeot leads the way for the group, selling more than 339,200 SUVs worldwide (up 26%) in the first half of 2018. With 144,000 units sold (up 37%), the 3008 has been great for the brand, while the newer and larger 5008 pulled in 58,900 units.

Over at Citroen, the SUV offensive started last autumn by the C3 Aircross in Europe and the C5 Aircross in China. Together, the raked in nearly 80,000 units in H1 2018, for a total of 135,000 sold since launch. The launch of the C4 Aircross in China and the C5 Aircross in Europe in the second half will add further momentum.

Now a separate brand, the DS 7 Crossback was launched in February and helped the premium brand grow 35% in the second quarter. PSA says that two out of three customers chose top-of-the-line versions and every second customer choose the DS Connected Pilot option, which offers Level 2 autonomous driving. Needless to say, the higher a variant and the more options picked, the higher the profit.

Meanwhile, the newly acquired Opel and Vauxhall brands have the X-family of SUVs, which includes the Crossland X, Mokka X, and Grandland X. They contributed 167,200 units to the final tally.

Strong LCV sales were another big boost for PSA, and the 289,500 units sold sets a new record. That’s up 32.8%, but if you discount Opel/Vauxhall, there’s still 8.3% growth. In Europe, PSA leads the market with more than one in four sales. Outside Europe, sales were up 9% in Eurasia (Russian and Ukraine), and 27.8% in Latin America.

Following the renewal of compact vans in 2016, PSA will take another step in the upgrade of its LCV line-up in the second half with the release of a new generation of B-LCVs (Peugeot Partner, Citroen Berlingo Van and Opel/Vauxhall Combo).

Zooming into our part of the world, PSA sold 163,000 vehicles in China and South East Asia in H1 2018, up 6.9%. Citroen was the biggest contributor to the improvement, with sales up 50.5% thanks to its range of sedans and the China launch of the C5 Aircross SUV last September. Peugeot’s “008” SUV family contributed 40% of the brand’s total sales volumes.

In February, PSA made significant progress in strengthening its operations in Southeast Asia with the creation of a joint venture with Naza. The move saw the Europe’s second largest carmaker take majority stake in Naza’s Gurun plant in Kedah, which will churn out the Peugeot 3008 this year and the Citroen C5 Aircross in 2019. With 4,900 units sold in ASEAN in six months, “the acceleration in this part of the region is now noticeable,” PSA says.