PARIS – Automobiles Peugeot plans to expand its market potential considerably with two minivans due to hit the market before the end of the decade.
A cross/utility vehicle and a 5- and 7-seat minivan, based onPeugeot-Citroen middle platform, will fill what was an artificial void.
In the past, the Citroen brand had company rights to minivans, while the Peugeot brand had exclusivity on convertibles. Minivans have a far bigger market share.
UnderPeugeot Citroen CEO Christian Streiff, the old rule on halo silhouettes was dropped, but he says during a speech at the auto show here that distinctive cars will remain a part of each brand’s move to separate themselves from each other.
Jean-Philippe Collin, the general manager of the Peugeot brand, says the CUV, minivan and a smaller minivan in the future will broaden Peugeot’s lineup so that it covers 90% of the market, against only 72% now.
The Prologue diesel-hybrid concept car, the forerunner of the CUV coming next spring, is a Peugeot star at the Paris auto show, along with the 308CC coupe-cabriolet that will be available next spring. A gasoline-hybrid concept sports car, the RC, could foreshadow Peugeot’s new halo car.
With new products, Collin expects Peugeot to reach 5% market penetration in Germany and achieve its sales goals for Italy and the U.K. In Europe, the Peugeot brand was down 5.1% through August, to 685,853 units, and in France its passenger car sales were up 1.7% through September.
Worldwide, Peugeot expects 2008 sales to pass 2 million units, above last year’s 1,967,000. Sales were up 8% in the first half.
If it reaches the goal, credit will go in large part to the success of the 308 and Peugeot’s light-utility vehicles, sales of which gained 13% in the year’s first half. The newest member of the family, the small Peugeot Bipper, won “Van of the Year” honors in September from journalists connected with the German IAA truck show.
Collin says a production Prologue will arrive in spring 2009, and in the fall a 5- and 7-seat minivan will hit the market. The Prologue, with its 2.0L diesel and electric motor on the rear axle, is expected to emit only 109 g/km of carbon dioxide.
Peugeot will launch its first diesel hybrids in 2011, and it will begin adding stop-and-go micro-hybrid technology across its range in 2010.