Peugeot’s parent PSA has been through some difficult financial times in the past few months but it is now coming through the other side and with some strong new models, the future looks somewhat brighter.
Tim Zimmerman, managing director of Peugeot UK, says that analysts are now recommending that people buy PSA shares and the brand once again has the vehicle line-up it is best-known for.
“It’s a good time to be a Peugeot dealer,” he added. “We have the new 208 and 2008 and the 308 is coming soon. Not only that, the UK market is running ahead of where we expected it to be, about 10 per cent up on 2012.”
Peugeot sold around 120,000 cars and commercial vehicles in the UK last year and expects to increase this by around 8 per cent in 2013. What is important, said Zimmerman, is the quality of sales. “The mix has changed with the brand less reliant on low margin daily rental or large fleet sales, to retail and business user-choosers.
“Even so, we did not really expect to see the type of growth in the UK that we have seen this year and there are a number of reasons for this,” he added. “People tend to change their cars more often in the UK than they do in the rest of Europe while there has also been a certain amount of windfall cash as people get PPI refunds.”
Along with Ford, Peugeot has also been a leader of personal contract purchases which means customers can trade in their car after three years for the latest model while monthly repayments remain largely the same.
Speaking at a headlineauto lunch, Zimmerman said: “Our ‘Just Add Fuel’ promotion continues to be very popular because it does what it says on the box, apart from fuel, the tax, insurance and maintenance is all taken care of and this has brought a lot of new, younger customers to the brand – something of a holy grail.”
As for next year, Zimmerman said he expected the market to be around the same as 2013. “But then we were not expecting the growth experienced this year so I am quite prepared to be pleasantly surprised.”