Productive year ahead for Peugeot in Malaysia

Published on January 28th, 2010

Major plans are afoot to expand the Peugeot presence in the region following the success of the French brand locally under the reign of Nasim Sdn Bhd, with the core part of the plan being to set Malaysia up as a manufacturing hub for the right-hand drive markets in the region.

The devilish details for the master plan were announced this week together with the first unveiling of the brand’s new identity outside of its native France.

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“The brand new identity is part of anew marque plan to move Peugeot up three places in the world car market by 2015,” said Nicolas Wertans, Peugeot’s Deputy Managing Director. Peugeot currently occupies the last spot in the top 10 of the global automotive market in terms of size.

The plan will see the launch of 14 new models in the core and emerging markets between the year 2010 and 2012.

On the local front, things are just heading skywards with immense growth in terms of sales. Last year, Nasim recorded sales of approximately 3,800 units in the country. Some food for thought to munch on, Peugeot sold more passenger vehicles regionally last year than the previous four years combined.

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In line with the expansion plans for the region, Peugeot has also kicked off expansion works for its Asean regional office in locally to coordinate operations for the entire Asia-Pacific region,

Even though the plan is to make Malaysia the manufacturing hub for right-hand drive vehicles regionally such as Indonesia and Thailand, plans are in the pipe works to export them way beyond the region to countries such as Australia, New Zealand and even South Africa.

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Naza’s Gurun plant will be shouldering all the responsibility for putting the models together for the local market as well as the foreign markets.

Last year, the brand recorded sales of 3,766 units in the country that accounted for 86 per cent of Peugeot sales in the region. The best seller was the 206 with 2,347 units followed by the 885 units of the 308, 491units of the 407 and 43 for the 207CC.

As for their model lineup in the country, five new models are in the mix to join the current lineup in showrooms. They are the 3008, 5008, RCZ, 308CC and the codenamed ‘T33’ that will most likely be a 206 in sedan guise. The T33 is a collaboration between Nasim and Peugeot to create a competitive model for the regional market.

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Another model is still hovering in consideration on its availability in the local market. Dubbed the T73 and sold as the 408 in some countries, it must be stressed that the model is by no means a replacement for the model offered here as the 407.

In fact, the T73 is a C-segment offering in the silhouette of a notchback sedan. It will be an add on to the current Peugeot lineup if it does get the green light to make its appearance here.

The 5-seater 3008 is the carmaker’s first compact CUV and will be a good add on to freshen up its current lineup here. Additionally, the 5008 MPV will surely be well received locally as well.

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For those demanding some flair in the brand’s offerings, the RCZ would fit the bill perfectly. Highly likely to sport the 1.6-liter turbo four as found in the Mini’s in a higher state of tune, the RCZ is definitely a welcome addition to the Nasim showrooms.

Finally is the 308CC, doubling the brand’s topless offerings here. The RCZ and 308 share a common platform too.

Though the brand is famed for its diesel technology that has many time proven its worth on the asphalt of Le Mans, its diesel offerings won’t be finding themselves in Nasim showrooms anytime soon though as our local diesel quality still isn’t up to par.

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Nonetheless, other markets will benefit from it as the 3008 will not only get diesel power plants but a hybrid diesel as well.

As with all other carmakers, Peugeot recognizes the importance of alternate energy sources for vehicles of the future. Hence, a plug-in hybrid with a zero emission mode will follow soon after.

On a concept front, the recently unveiled SR1 is the dictionary for the brand’s new design and styling language. Not only does it embody all the exterior cues of future models, it also heaves the technology of future models on its curvaceous strokes.

Another of its interesting concepts would be the BB1. This 2.5-meter long four-seater is a full electric vehicle and was just a few days ago flashed the green light for production.

This year is definitely going to be a bumper year for the Peugeot brand, not only in the country but in the entire region as well. With more tricks up its sleeves, things can only get better for the brand in Asia-Pacific.

text: Dinesh Appavu  pix: Nasim Sdn Bhd


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