Peugeot’s Expected Indian Lineup
Published On Jan 25, 2017 08:20 PM By Raunak
The french auto giant is all set to re-enter the country and this will be its third endeavour for setting up operations in India.
Remember the Peugeot 309 from the mid 90’s? The car was a testament to Peugeot being one of the very first foreign automakers to enter India post Liberalisation. The French giant had entered into a joint venture with Premier Automobiles Limited, aka PAL, and started retailing the Peugeot 309 around 1994.
Rings a bell? It was a notchback version of Peugeot’s iconic 205 GTI hatchback, which is still considered by many to be one of the best hot hatches ever offered on this planet. The design of our current crop of compact sedans is, in fact, reminiscent of the 309. However, it wouldn’t qualify as a sub-4m sedan since its length exceeded the mark by merely 50mm. Also, its refined and powerful diesel engine – 1.5-litre TUD5 diesel – was later used in a lot of cars in the country, such as the Maruti Zen and Esteem diesel, Hyundai Accent and others.
Soon, the Pal-Peugeot joint venture fell apart (between 2000-01) and, Peugeot flew back to its home country, France, shutting its operations in India. Subsequently, in 2011, the French automaker again tried to set up operations in India, but a financial crunch halted everything. Currently, Groupe PSA, which owns brands such as Peugeot, Citroën and DS Automobiles, has entered into a joint venture with CK Birla Group for manufacturing and retailing its cars in India. We hope that Peugeot’s third attempt at retailing cars in India will be fruitful. In the same hope, let us see what cars could make it to Peugeot's Indian line-up.
Peugeot 208 and 108 Hatchbacks
(In Picture: Peugeot 208)
Hatchbacks are the bread-and-butter models for most of the manufacturers in the country. And the Europeans certainly do know how to make hatchbacks! The 208 and the 108 are Peugeot’s leading hatchbacks around the world and these, perhaps, could be the very products from the brand for India.
The 108 was introduced in 2014, while the 208 received its mid-cycle update in 2015. The automaker will probably launch the next-generation versions of these hatchbacks in India. The global sales of the new-gen 208 are likely to begin next year and it will be based on the company’s brand new Common Modular Platform (CMP). For the uninitiated, Peugeot has consolidated the development of its future models on two global modular platforms – Common Modular Platform (CMP) and Efficient Modular Platform (EMP2).
(In Picture: Peugeot 108)
In the UK, the 208 takes on the likes of the Hyundai Elite i20, Honda Jazz, Suzuki Baleno and others, while the 108 competes with the second-gen i10 (the Grand i10) and the Ford Ka+ (second-gen Ford Figo) amongst others. All these rivals of the Peugeot hatchbacks are doing pretty good in the country suggesting a suitable environment for the hatchbacks to thrive in. Also, with an optimum amount of localisation, as the company intends to do, Peugeot can price these hatchbacks competitively.
Peugeot 2008, 3008 and 5008 SUVs
The current inclination of buyers around the world towards crossovers and SUVs has compelled automakers to produce more and more such cars. And Peugeot is no exception. Last year, the automaker revealed not one, but three SUVs – the 5008, 3008 and the facelifted 2008. SUVs are all the rage in India as well, suggesting that Peugeot will not shy away from offering its SUV offensive in the country.
(In Picture: Peugeot 5008)
Both the 3008 and the 5008 nameplates have been morphed from people movers (MPVs) to people's choice (SUVs) with their new iterations. The 5008, a proper seven-seater SUV, will go on sale in the European market soon, where it will compete with the recently revealed India-bound Skoda Kodiaq, and others.
If launched in India, the 5008 will take on the likes of the Endeavour, Fortuner, upcoming Kodiaq amongst others. The 3008, on the other hand, will take on the likes of the Hyundai Tucson, Honda CR-V, and others, if launched in the country. Considering the growing popularity of its rivals in India, Peugeot could consider launching these SUVs here. Both the vehicles feature the latest iteration of the automaker’s i-Cockpit (cabin – check out the image below) and design language with features such as Peugeot's signature LED ‘claw effect’ tail lamps along with a horizontal bonnet, vertical face and a raised body line.
(In Picture: Peugeot 3008)
The 2008 sits below rest of the two and rivals compact SUVs in Europe such as the Ford EcoSport. This space is one of the hotter segments in India right now and the French automaker will definitely like to get a hold of it with the 2008, but only with a new-gen model.
(In Picture: Peugeot 2008)
Beside these hatchbacks and SUVs, the company also possesses sedans such as the 508 and the 301 in its arsenal, which could also be offered in India. In all these years, Peugeot has come a long way from making the good old 309 sedan. It has powerful and refined petrol and diesel powertrains along with sporty-looking feature-packed vehicles. We wish Peugeot all the best for its resurrected Indian operations.