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Peugeot 206 to roll on

Lone soldier: 206 range will be stripped down to a single XR three-door.

Peugeot's 206 hatch to continue Down Under alongside new 207 until supplies expire

Peugeot logo20 Oct 2006

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

PEUGEOT will continue with its 206 light-car range in Australia for at least another 18 months, despite the arrival of its successor, the 207, in March 2007.

The French company has announced that it will pare back the range from seven different variants, offered over three body styles, to a single model 206 XR three-door hatchback powered by a 55kW 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine.

A specific timeframe for the 206 is unknown, but while Peugeot Automobile Australia (PAA) public relations manager Mathew McAuley told GoAuto in Paris earlier this month that the car would "continue for the foreseeable future" it is believed that it will vanish from Australian new-car showrooms during the first half of 2008.

This is when stocks are expected to run dry following the closure of Peugeot’s Ryton plant, in the UK, halfway through next year.

Although the 206 is also produced in France, Iran and China, it is highly unlikely that PAA will switch to these sources. Mr McAuley said that no non-European made Peugeots would be sold in Australia.

Ironically, the oldest Peugeot in the line-up has enjoyed a big sales rise after PAA announced pricing starting from $16,990 earlier this year, boosting demand by almost 25 per cent compared to 2005 levels.

The most basic 207, on the other hand, will struggle to dip below the $20,000 barrier, although it is half a size larger than the 206 and offers significantly more space, refinement and safety.

This year PAA expects to sell around 2000 206s, giving it over 50 per cent of the $25,000-plus light-car segment in Australia.

Meanwhile, the 107 city car is definitely not going to arrive in Australia, joining the oddball 1007 as a non-starter over here. Peugeot co-developed the 107 with Citroen and Toyota, which also market the car as the C1 and Aygo, as an inexpensive four-seater hatchback.

"The projected price of the 107 would simply make it uncompetitive," Mr McAuley said.

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