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New Peugeot 208 production cut as sales disappoint

Tue, 09 Oct 2012 00:00:00 -0700

Peugeot is cutting back on production of the new 208 as its sales fail to reach expectations, just six months on from launch.

It’s not enough when Europe is ion the midst of an economic crisis and car buyers are polarised between ‘budget’ cars that offer more for less than mainstream offerings and ‘Premium’ models that are bought on the back of a preconceived notion of more kudos.

That leaves car makers like Peugeot (and Renault, Citroen, Vauxhall, Ford, Opel, Fiat…) between a rock and a hard place, unable – or unwilling – to compete with the offerings from Korea and saddled with a brand that doesn’t have the ‘class’ of an Audi or a BMW or a Mercedes or even a VW.

So Peugeot’s launch of the new 208 – however decent an offering it may be – in April this year in the middle of a changing market and Euro crisis wasn’t ideal. And its expectations of 175,000 sales in Europe 2012 have proved to be a victim of the current climate with Peugeot now expected to sell just 140,000 208s in 2012.

That’s still a big pile of metal to move – and the Peugeot 208 was still the third best selling car, behind the VW Golf and Polo – in Europe in August – but not enough to keep Peugeot’s sales hope on track and its production facilities at full speed.

So Peugeot are cutting the rate of production for the 208 from 35 an hour to 52 an hour from this week and cancelling one of its three shifts at its factory in¬†Poissy in December. They’re also cutting 850 temporary positions by the end of 2012 and keeping their fingers crossed that will be enough to keep the wolf from the door.

But really, the crisis for Europe’s mainstream car makers can’t be solved unless they make deep cuts in production capacity and accept the car market has probably changed forever.

Peugeot 208 Photos >>


Source: Automotive News Europe (sub required)

By Cars UK