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First look: Peugeot springs 5008 surprise

People Pug: Peugeot's new seven-seat 5008 joins the 3008 crossover to become Peugeot's second compact people-mover.

New compact people-mover emerges from Peugeot, which says it’s open to merger talks

4 Jun 2009

THE same day it presented an all-new compact people-mover dubbed the 5008, Peugeot revealed it was open to negotiations that could see Europe’s second-largest car-maker merge with the likes of BMW or Fiat.

While the seven-seater 5008 is being considered for release here by Peugeot Automobiles Australia, the largest shareholder of PSA Peugeot Citroen has told a French newspaper it would be willing to sell some of its stake.

Les Echos quoted Thierry Peugeot, a sixth-generation descendant of one of Peugeot’s two founding brothers who administer the Peugeot family's 30 per cent holding in the car-maker, as saying an alliance could be central to the company’s future.

“We would be prepared ... to examine the question,” said Mr Peugeot when asked if that meant the family’s stake could be diminished, before adding that increasing economies of scale would be one of the key ways to reduce the car-maker’s costs.

However, Mr Peugeot cautioned that the family would not be prepared to lose its controlling interest in PSA, saying: “I think that having a core shareholder is a major plus for PSA.” Peugeot was founded as a steel maker in 1810 before going on to make bicycles and cars and then merging with France’s similarly-historic Citroen, which was founded in 1919 by Andre Citroen, who made it the world’s fourth-largest car-maker by the early 1930s.

23 center imageThe 5008, meantime, joins the 3008 crossover as a second compact people-mover from Peugeot, which continues to offer the 1007 mini-people-mover and 807 large people-mover in Europe.

Effectively a higher-roof version of the 308 Touring, which is sold here alongside the 308 hatchback, the five and seven-seater 5008 will share the 308’s petrol and diesel engine range when it goes on sale overseas in late 2009.

But Peugeot Automobiles Australia spokesman Mark McCartney said that even if it was approved for sale here, the 5008 was a long way from local dealerships.

“At this stage there aren’t any plans on the table to bring 5008 to Australia,” he said. “However, we are beginning to undertake a feasibility study, so it’s not out of the question, but any decision on whether it will be coming is still some way off.” The 5008 is 4530mm long and 1640mm high, and its aerodynamic styling, with a drag coefficient of just 0.29Cd, is said to be “akin to that of the TGV high-speed train”.

It swallows up to 2506 litres of cargo when the rear two rows of seats are stowed, and is claimed to offer new safety standards by featuring head-up display and distance-alert technology, plus standard electronic stability control and full-length side curtain airbags.

Peugeot says the 5008, which will make its official public premiere at the Frankfurt motor show in September, is the latest model to follow the French maker’s new naming convention.

Apparently, the number 5 “echoes the manufacturer’s past in the field of family vehicles”, while the two central zeros stamp it as a Peugeot “with a tall architecture and a raised driving position” and the 8 specifies “the generation to which the new model belongs”.

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