Peugeot SA is tired of getting the scraps of the local car market and has put its money where their mouth is by launching two new cars in what they describe as a “brand relaunch”.
In Hartbeespoort on Thursday afternoon the brand introduced two new models: The budget city runaround, a hatchback called the 108, and the 5008, which sits on a perch at the top of its SUV range.
Managing director of Peugeot Citroen South Africa, Xavier Gobille, said that the launch of themodels was much more than just a car launch.
“It is bigger than that. This is a brand relaunch. It is not only the brand relaunch of Peugeot SA but of the PSA group in the country,” he said.
The PSA Group is the parent company of Peugeot, the French multinational car company which also has the likes of Citroen, DS Automobiles and Opel under it.
“This Peugeot brand relaunch is the first wave of attack by the group, with more to come,” Gobille said.
According to Gobille, Citroen will be making a comeback in South Africa after pulling out of the country in 2017.
Gobille said that they were re-entering the market to be “back in the race”.
“Back in the race means that you were out in the pit lanes, but now you have fixed whatever was wrong and you are ready now to join the pack and get into racing,” he said.
Gobille added that it would require a lot of commitment to get into the race and get to the front.
Gobille explained that the company currently only has 1% of the market.
“You can look at that and say ‘oh, what a shame to only have a small percentage’ or you can look at it as an opportunity for growth,” he said.
“We are taking drastic measures to ensure that we get back to the leading pack.”
Some of these measures include dropping what Gobille described as “non-performing” dealerships. It is all part of Gobille’s turnaround strategy for the brand. This includes creating an enabling organisation, developing a strong dealership network, improving customer relationship management, marketing efficiency and product enhancement, as well as aftersales efficiency.
This month, Peugeot also announced that all its cars from the budget 108 to the 5008 SUV will be sold with a five-year/100 000km comprehensive warranty and service plan.
The Peugeot 108 with its 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder naturally aspirated engine will start at R179 900. It comes with city car must-haves like a 7-inch touch-screen display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. But it also packs six air bags, something rarely seen in the segment.
The 5008 SUV is entering a very competitive market where it will be facing competition from Mazda’s CX-5 and Volkswagen’s Tiguan. It offers a good driving performance and an interior that has fit and finish that will rival cars with a higher price tag than the R600 000 for the top of the range 5008.
Both the models will face tough competition but Peugeot hopes the aggressive pricing and standard safety features will draw people to the brand.
- Pictures by Sthembiso Lebuso