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Flagship car sees Peugeot tempting corporate customers

A new luxury car range is set to play a leading role in a campaign aimed at changing the way corporate motorists feel about Peugeot.

The flagship 508 saloon and estate models are tasked with helping convince company drivers that products from the French firm can now be compared with models made by premium manufacturers.

“Brand image seems to be more important here than in many other countries and we accept that changes are needed to raise the perception of Peugeot.

“It will not happen overnight - this is an exercise that will take some time to complete – but our new 508 range represents a big step in the direction we want to take over the medium to long term. Building our brand is my top priority,” Peugeot UK managing director Stephane Le Gueval told Fleet News.

In an interview as the French firm staged its first global reveal of a new model in Britain, Le Gueval admitted that meeting his aspirations would be a formidable challenge in a market sector long dominated by Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

“It is not easy to sell in the D-segment, but competition is good and I like it – the German products are at a very high level, so it will be good to compete with them. However, we will not be taking an aggressive stance as we move forward with our plans.

“We could easily put lots of cars into the market, but that is not the solution we are seeking. I regard improving our residual values as paramount to the future health of Peugeot and a key part of my job to ensure this brand remains commercially viable in the long term,” he said.

UK sales of the 508 have slumped as the D-segment has weakened in recent years. The car accounted for 6,400 registrations in 2012 and sales fell to 4,280 last year. So far this year, fewer than 1,000 units have been registered.

Said Le Gueva: “It is a difficult time, but we will take things step by step. We should sell 2,500 units this year and in 12 months’ time, I would like annual sales of the new range to be between 4,000 and 5,000.”
 



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Comments

  • ICEAGE - 20/06/2014 17:00

    Why don't these guys learn the lesson? Even GM gave up trying to sell a large saloon in Europe. Just a foolish boardroom dream that no one had the courage to say 'STOP IT WONT SELL'.... (apart from the 500 dealer demos over 2-years!!)

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  • irishboy4 - 25/06/2014 13:51

    I would rather drive a 508 than a bmw/c class/a4 clone car. the merc and bmw are both built in South Africa and have now become the Reps cars in the same way that the Cortina was in the 80s. At least Peugeot offer something exclusive and probably more reliable than the pseudo german brands.

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