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Fresh Peugeot 2008 addresses buyer resistance

Second coming: Peugeot says it has address the issues of the pre-facelifted 2008, including introducing a better aftersales deal.

Peugeot says timid looks and wrong powertrains kept buyers away from previous 2008

28 Feb 2017

PEUGEOT Australia is confident that the changes made to the 2017 2008 will finally help the crossover resonate with the small-SUV buyer demographic, especially now that the Mitsubishi ASX-based 4008 has been discontinued.

With sharper styling, performance and specification, Peugeot Automobiles Australia national sales manager Nigel Wright said he believed the new version would surpass its best sales year, which was 488 units in 2014.

“The core challenges to the 2008 achieving any decent numbers previously included the way it looks, because it didn’t look like an SUV,” he revealed.

“But mainly it was the drivetrain and transmission.. and that’s all changed now.

“In terms of enquires following through with orders in our dealerships, the 2008 had the worst conversion of any of our cars.

“So we’d either lose people based on the looks – they’d seen it either on line and then got to the dealership and it wasn’t as big as they perceived it to be but smaller or they’d go on a test drive, and if they’d been driving something else, that four-speed automatic transmission was always going to be a challenge.

“But now we’ve got that new front end that makes it look a lot more masculine, a lot more rugged, and a lot more of a 4WD, and combine that with the new engine and transmission, we’re confident it will do a lot better.”

While Mr Wright refused to divulge volume forecasts, he revealed that the discontinuation of the 4008 should help further boost 2008 sales.

“Also, our 4008 – the donor from the Mitsubishi ASX – has been phased out, so the timing works very well with the 2008 facelift, and we will see sales come from there also,” he said.

“We now have a package that we can target to a much younger demographic. I’m not talking 18 year olds, but the number one player in that small-SUV space (attracts) females between 25 and 40 years old, and this car has a much greater chance of bringing them into the brand.”

The top seller in the busy sub-$40,000 small-SUV segment last year was Mazda’s CX-3 with 18,334, followed by the Mitsubishi ASX (18,126) and Honda HR-V (12,403).

In contrast, the 2008 recorded 359 sales in 2016, a 14 per cent lift over 2015.

Finally, Peugeot has decided to launch the facelifted 2008 with an extended aftersales care regime that matches arch-rival Renault’s, while giving the 2008 another point of difference against all of its Japanese rivals including the CX-3 and HR-V.

“We were very mindful when launching the 2008 that we have to make sure we give it every chance of success,” Mr Wright said. “Which is why we’ve gone with the five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty from launch.

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