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Peugeot leans on upcoming SUVs

Puzzle piece: If confirmed, Peugeot's forthcoming 6008 is likely to have evolved from the 2011 SXC Concept Hybrid.

Trio of SUVs set to boost Peugeot's Australian profile

22 Feb 2016

PEUGEOT importer and Australian distributor Syme Darby Motor Group (SDMG) is pinning its hopes on three new SUVs to help lift local sales, including a direct competitor to the new Volkswagen Tiguan and a full-sized seven-seat crossover.

Kicking off in September with the facelifted 2008, the line-up will grow to include the second-generation 3008 medium SUV expected to land later next year, while the French brand will also challenge the redesigned Mazda CX-9 in 2018 with a large SUV rumoured to be called the 6008.

According to SDMG marketing manager, Dimitri Andreatidis, this year’s refreshed 2008 will usher in the new era for Peugeot, allowing the brand to play more competitively in the burgeoning Australian small SUV class.

“The 2008 will allow us to continue our brand push in Australia because that segment is the fastest growing,” he said.

“We’re looking at it as an opportunity to get Peugeot back on the map with SUV customers. 2008 plays a very important role as a stepping stone into our future SUV family, especially with the up and coming 3008.

“So we need to re-establish our credentials as a true SUV contender, and the new 2008 allows us to do that.”

While SDMG has yet to finalise the 2008’s final specification, the 81kW/205Nm 1.2-litre e-THP three-cylinder turbo petrol engine with six-speed automatic will be central to the range.

Additionally, it is understood that pricing will be more aligned with the best-selling Mazda CX-3, which starts from $19,990 plus on-road costs the outgoing 2008 in equivalent spec is listed from $25,490 plus on-road costs.

A more aggressively styled nose and a more rugged stance, combined with a multimedia upgrade, is intended to further boost the facelifted 2008’s appeal.

Meanwhile, the completely redesigned 3008, codenamed the P84, will debut at the Paris Show in October shedding its predecessor’s boxy people-mover look, for a more traditional SUV shape, to better contest the Mazda CX-5 and Toyota RAV4.

Based on PSA’s lightweight EMP2 architecture also found in the Citroen Picasso and Peugeot 308 small car ranges, the Mk2 3008 will be pitched straight at the Tiguan heartland when it surfaces in Australia late in 2017. Pricing is likely to range between $30,000 and $50,000.

Among the all-turbo engine options will be the lauded 1.2-litre e-THP three-cylinder and 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol units, as well as PSA’s all-new 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre HDi turbo-diesels, driving either the front or all four wheels via a six or as-yet unseen eight-speed automatic transmissions.

The 6008 is the final piece in Peugeot’s renewed SUV puzzle, using an extended EMP2 platform to take on the three-row configuration. Expected to be unveiled in the all-important Chinese market sometime in 2017, it is said to share some styling themes with the company’s 2011 SXC Hybrid Concept.

Peugeot’s previous seven-seater was the short-lived 5008, which the 6008 will partly replace, along with the just-released Traveller people mover that is based on the Volkswagen Multivan-like van.

Released in Australia in mid-2013, the 5008 barely managed to crack 240 registrations before sales were pulled at the beginning of last year.

Finally, the fate of the Mitsubishi-supplied 4008 remains a mystery, although SDMG PR and communications head, Tyson Bowen, is adamant that the ASX-based small SUV will continue, as it still plays an important role representing the brand in that segment.

4008 sales were down some 33 per cent last year to 825 units, with the newer 308 deposing it as Peugeot Automobiles Australia’s best-selling model, the latter managing to score 1491 registrations for a 54.2 per cent increase over the previous year’s results.

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