Peu­geot paves way for 3008

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Motoring -

Peu­geot Au­to­mo­biles Aus­tralia says the up­dated 2008 can sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease its sales against cross­over ri­vals such as the Re­nault Cap­tur and Suzuki Vi­tara, and also es­tab­lish the French brand as a key player in the medium and large SUV seg­ments.

Speak­ing to Goauto at the launch of the facelifted 2008 in Syd­ney last month, Peu­geot Au­to­mo­biles Aus­tralia na­tional sales man­ager Nigel Wright said he was confident the small SUV would help clear the path for the all-new, se­cond-gen­er­a­tion 3008 and the larger seven-seat 5008 when they launch in about six and 12 months re­spec­tively.

“What the 2008 will do, to a de­gree, is prime the mar­ket for the 3008,” he said. “If you were to talk to your av­er­age Aussie punter about what Peu­geot rep­re­sents, it’s not SUVS. It’s a small, premium Euro­pean car. The 2008 will in­tro­duce the theme to the mar­ket that Peu­geot ac­tu­ally does SUVS.”

While the 2008 has been facelifted and repo­si­tioned to bet­ter meet buyer ex­pec­ta­tions, it is the 3008, due in Au­gust, that has the po­ten­tial to be Peu­geot’s best-sell­ing model in Aus­tralia.

“So we’re look­ing for­ward to the 2008 kick­ing things off for us, but the 3008 is some­thing we and our dealer net­work can­not wait to get our hands on,” Mr Wright said.

“Es­pe­cially with the suc­cess that car has had in Europe. We in­tended to launch it in Aus­tralia sooner, how­ever, be­cause of the in­cred­i­ble de­mand that car has had in Europe it is now due in the third quar­ter.”

The 3008 is likely to com­pete against mid-spec ver­sions of the pop­u­lar Mazda CX-5 and Volk­swa­gen Tiguan, among oth­ers.

Mr Wright’s hopes have been buoyed by the ini­tial re­sponse to the 3008 in Europe, with more than 60,000 or- ders in the first three months on sale push­ing right-hand-drive pro­duc­tion at the main plant in Sochaux in eastern France back by up to sev­eral months.

“In two years it is an ab­so­lute pos­si­bil­ity that our SUV line-up can out­sell pas­sen­ger cars,” he said.

“Our cor­ner­stone right now is the 308 – it’s our num­ber one sell­ing car.

“But the in­tro­duc­tion of 2008 com­bined with the 3008 and then the 5008 within three to six months, these should achieve half of our an­nual sales fore­casts.

“What we might find is when we launch 3008, a num­ber of our 508 cus­tomers will go to that 3008, and in par­tic­u­lar in that top spec.

“And a lot of those 508 cus­tomers are diesel drivers and are used to a high-spec ve­hi­cle, and we’ll be able to of­fer that in our 3008.”

How­ever, the Aus­tralian dis­trib­u­tor, Sime Darby Mo­tors Group nor PSA Group in­ter­na­tion­ally will give up on its pas­sen­ger car range, ac­cord­ing to Mr Wright.

“We’ve still got to stick to our roots – we have a very loyal cus­tomer base with 208 and 308,” he said. “And we will ab­so­lutely stick with 508.

“Yes, that seg­ment is de­creas­ing. The 508 it­self is get­ting a lit­tle bit old com­pared with some of the com­pe­ti­tion like the Skoda Su­perb and Volk­swa­gen Pas­sat. But we’ve seen de­signs of an all-new 508 that is cer­tainly much more, say, BMW, and that’s 18 to 24 months away. So we’re very ex­cited about that.”

LUCKY SEVEN: The seven-seat Peu­geot 5008 will fol­low the five-seat 3008 into show­rooms early next year.

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