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Parker's forecourt focus: Interesting results for joint venture

Sales figures for Toyota, Peugeot and Citroën’s joint small cars (Aygo, 107 and C1), have resulted in interesting reading this year.

You could be forgiven for thinking Citroën’s aggressive line on price might have given it an advantage. Toyota is perceived to have a better brand image than its French partners, which could help the Aygo sell and hold its value better.

Peugeot has one high specification model, with few options. Peugeot also decided against adding diesel to the range in the UK, which Citroën and Toyota offer at a premium of £1100.

AM reported last September that Peugeot dealers were struggling to sell both the 107 and 1007.

However, running totals for 2006 show the 107 as a success: by the end of July Peugeot had registered 8,592 (Aygo 7,790; C1 4,718).

Citroën says it has fewer C1s to sell than its project partners because of its wide range of small cars (C2, C3 and C3 Pluriel), and traditionally has been smaller than Peugeot in the UK. But why would it need to sweeten the C1 by offering up to £800 off list price? And Peugeot has an equally broad range of small cars (1007, 206, 206 SW, 206 CC and 207). Could Peugeot be supplying fleets with pool cars, bodyshop courtesy cars or public sector organizations to win the numbers game?

Not really – Peugeot has the highest percentage of retail sales of all three brands at 77%. It claims the simple 107 line-up has helped, but if this were the sole reason for its success, why would Toyota be just 800 units behind with the most complex range of the three?

Quite a riddle, but at least Peugeot can be congratulated for persuading more customers to choose its version of the car just 12 months after it looked like a potential sales disaster.

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