AM Online

Peugeot takes a break from premium saloons

Peugeot UK plans to sever its link with the premium saloon market by prematurely ending imports of the 607 later this year.

Disappointing sales have prompted the decision to quit the brand-conscious segment dominated by Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, though the move is not intended to be permanent.

Peugeot UK marketing director Christian Stein told AM: “We introduced our flagship car eight years ago and it reached annual registration volumes of more than 1,000.

But sales dipped to only 189 units last year, so we have decided to call it a day, though we still have big ambitions in this area of the market.”

He added: “The time may have come for us to leave the traditional luxury saloon sector, but we will return in 2011 with a replacement model.

In the meantime, our main hopes for upmarket business lie with 4007 SUV and 407 Coupé,” he said.

Stein hopes Peugeot’s brand will be boosted by its Audi TT-rivalling 308 RCZ, which is due to reach UK showrooms in 2010.

That will be followed by other premium-positioned products.

Stein added: “The market has undergone significant change since we launched the 607 and it has fragmented with the arrival of SUVs and crossover models.

“But in the longer term, Peugeot has no intention of giving up its challenge to the German marques.

We will be launching a succession of new premium models over the next few years,” he said.

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