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Future models - Peugeot - 107

Pug's one with the lot

Pug-eyed: Funky 107 will be sold here only in five-door petrol guise.

Peugeot's 107 micro looks set for a late-2008 release, as French brand seeks youth

11 Feb 2008

PEUGEOT Australia expects to introduce the 107 micro-car before the end of this year.

The fashionable hatchback has been on the local wish-list ever since it was introduced overseas in 2005, but increased production at the 107 plant in the Czech Republic means it is likely to finally come to Australia.

The 107 is a three-cylinder light-sized car that was developed as a joint production with Toyota and Peugeot-Citroen, with each brand selling its own version of the car.

All three have sold strongly in Europe, which closed the door to smaller export destinations including Australia.

Given the strong demand for the vehicle, Peugeot Australia trimmed back its volume request to just 500 a year, which has no doubt helped it secure the vehicle.

As it stands, Peugeot management in Paris has no problem with the volume request, but is yet to agree to specification and pricing levels.

“I was expecting a decision by December, so that we could go into production mid-year, but we haven’t had that yet,” said Peugeot Australia managing director Rob Dommerson.

He is fairly confident the 107 will be on its way soon, saying the deal was “pretty much there,” but not locked in. Whatever the deal Peugeot Australia is able to strike in Paris, the 107 that comes to Australia will not be a cheap car.

It will have to sit at least $1000 to $2000 below the $19,990 207 hatch to have a buffer between the two cars.

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“It has got to be below $20,000. I think Smart have just demonstrated that to themselves but, clearly, with 207 at $19,990 (that) is a lot of motor car at that price, so 107 has to sit below that,” Mr Dommerson said.

“Having said that, our philosophy with Peugeot is that it is European, it has to be reasonably high-specified as well.” With two specification levels available, Peugeot Australia is expected to take the better equipped model.

Mr Dommerson told GoAuto that there would be almost no profit in the vehicle for Peugeot Australia (although it would still be worthwhile for the dealers), but said importing the car was important for the brand’s image.

“From our point of view it is more of a marketing exercise for the brand,” he said.

“It won’t bring any money for us. We’ll advertise it, any money we get we will put straight back into advertising. We see it as an oppourtunity to get younger people into the Peugeot brand.” Currently in Australia, the average age of a Peugeot owner is 40 years.

“We are finding with 207 that it is a more substantial car. I wouldn’t say conservative, it is more substantial, and I think the younger kids want something a bit more nimble,” he said.

“We are finding certainly an older age bracket. (With) 407 and 307 it is older people and we’d like to change that. That is the reason we are saying to Peugeot, we need 107.” Mr Dommerson said there was definitely a gap for premium light-cars that captured the imagination of young people.

“When I look at that market place, Mazda2 has just launched which is a very nice car, but there wasn’t that much before that that was appealing to younger people. It was base transport. This thing is very stylish,” he said.

The 107 is powered by a three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine with 50kW and 94Nm of torque.

A 1.4-litre turbo-diesel is available in Europe, but is unlikely to come to Australia.

While a three-door model kicks off the range in Europe, Peugeot Australia wants to bring the five-door only.

The base-model 107 in Europe is actually quite bare to achieve a low entry price. It does without air-conditioning, electric windows and a tachometer.

Read more:

Pug 107 firms on French importer’s wishlist

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