AM Online

New pitch for ‘slow burner’

Peugeot has cut production and sales targets of the 1007 in recognition that the car is struggling to gain public acceptance.

Peugeot UK initially planned to sell 10,000 units by the end of December. This has been revised to 3,000. The target for 2006, originally set at 15,000, is now expected to be 8,000 to 9,000 units.

Last month, Peugeot announced it will restrict production of the 1007 at its Poissy plant near Paris to 70,000 units per year. The plant’s maximum capacity is 130,000 units.

AM reported in September that the UK’s Peugeot dealers were having a hard time finding buyers for the vehicle, which was launched here in July. The manufacturer had hoped the 1007’s electric sliding doors – a first in the mini-MPV segment – would help attract urban motorists, particularly women, in the 35+ age bracket.

It is continuing its animated TV advertising campaign, which emphasizes the easy access afforded by the doors, and is displaying the 1007 at this month’s BBC Good Food Show.

One Peugeot dealer principal told AM last week that the UK dealer network has been supplied 1007s as courtesy cars in order to get the car seen on the road. “We’re having a really hard time getting customers interested in them,” he adds.

Andrew Didlick, director of public relations, describes the 1007 as “a slow burner”, but says it is already competitively priced in comparison to similarly equipped rivals and there will be no price cut. He argues that providing 1007 courtesy cars will ensure customers get an extended test drive to realize its benefits.

“It’s going to take time to get the car established,” says Didlick. “We’ll be disappointed if dealers are not supportive of the 1007.”

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