Frankfurt Auto Show Part 5: An exclusive interview with Peugeot
This is the last part in a 5-part series dedicated to the Frankfurt Auto Show. You can read Part 1 about Tesla here, Part 2 on Maserati and the Frankfurt car landscape here, Part 3 with my Top 30 photos here and Part 4 about Audi here. Yesterday I had the privilege to speak with Peugeot World Press Relations Manager Marc Bocqué for almost 30 minutes which trust me is quite something given how busy everyone is during the Press Days, so I feel very lucky. Perhaps the fact we spoke in French the whole time helped…
Peugeot 208 Pikes Peak. You can’t see it on the pic, but the headlights are stickers!
With both the Peugeot 208 Pikes Peak and 208 Hybrid Concept displayed at the Show, it was logical to start with the sales performance of Peugeot’s best-seller so far, now that the model has been available in the whole of Europe for just over one year. And in a depressed context, the news are quite good: exactly 462,000 units of the model have been sold worldwide to-date, which in a full year would position the model inside the world Top 30 best-sellers. The product mix is more premium than firstly anticipated by Peugeot, at 30% for levels 3 and above (the most expensive), with the GTI and XY sports models grabbing 5% of total sales for now.
Peugeot is aiming at a Top 10 European ranking for the 308.
Peugeot unveiled the all-new 308 at the Show with no less than 9 models on display just in case you missed it! The French manufacturer is aiming at 150,000 global annual sales for the 308 ex-China where the model will launch in late 2014. In Europe, the objective is to be on the compact segment podium, which would currently mean a European Top 10 ranking (after 7 months: Golf #1, Focus #7, Astra #9).
Peugeot 2008 sales seem to have paused in France a little after breaking into the Top 10 in July. Here too the product mix is much more premium than Peugeot was tabling on: 71% of sales are of the levels 3 and above priced at around 23,000 euros which is a very interesting performance in the B-segment. The result being a 4 month-waiting time for a model purchased today that could explain the sales progression pause. A 2nd team has been put in place in the Mulhouse factory where the model is manufactured with a daily production of 620 units set for October 15. The 2008 will be manufactured in China in Q2 2014 and early 2015 in Brazil.
These ‘premium’ product mixes, initiated with the 3008 and even though they have surprised Peugeot, are in line with the objective of the brand to play in the upper range in each segment. From what Mr Bocqué is telling me, it would appear that within the Peugeot-Citroen stable, Peugeot wants to position itself as the upper-market brand in each segment, with Citroen offering a more pragmatic range as illustrated by the Cactus concept on display at the Show, and the Citroen DS line truly playing the premium game.
See the Full article featuring the 301 performance and Peugeot’s launch in Mongolia below.