2014 Exalt concept: a preview of next 508?

2014 Exalt concept: a preview of next 508?

This is the fourth feature in a five-part series which examines the current and future models for Groupe PSA's passenger car brands. Following on from a look at DS and then Citroën, Peugeot is the subject of the final two chapters. This feature looks at the A-D segments as well as a future pick-up. The last instalment will focus on the brand's future SUVs, monospaces and electric vehicles.

A segment

The 108, a replacement for the 107, had its global debut at the Geneva motor show in March 2014. Production commenced at the PSA and Toyota Motor Europe JV plant in Czechia during May 2014. The first cars were in European dealerships from the following month (July for the UK and Ireland). 

As was the case with the 107, the 108 is one of three near-identical models, the other cars being the Toyota Aygo and Citroën C1.

The 108 is available as a two-door or four-door hatchback: the boot is accessed via a lift-up glass panel. Cost was kept as low as possible, so there are no wind-down windows in the four-door car's rear doors; instead these pivot outwards as they did in the 107.

All three cars have a standard Toyota-supplied 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, but the Groupe PSA twins are also available with the French company's own 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine. Unlike the previous models, none is available with a diesel.

Given how successful the partnership has been, the third generation 108 and C1 due in 2023 should again be a JV with Toyota Motor Europe. The cars need a fresh architecture: the current ones are based on Toyota NWC, a platform which dates as far back as the Vitz/Yaris which first appeared more than a decade ago. Production should remain at the Kolin plant in central Europe.

B segment

The 208, which has been in production since the end of 2012, replaced the 207. The car's motor show debut was at Geneva in March 2012.

PSA's Trnava plant was the first to start building this model. Production got underway in November 2011. Build at Poissy (France) commenced in January 2012, followed by Brazil in February 2013 and China during the second half of 2014.

The 208 GTI had its world premiere at the Paris motor show in September 2012. This three-door car is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine. Production commenced in April 2013.

A facelifted 208 had its world premiere at the Geneva motor show in March 2015. It went on sale across Europe three months later.

The 208 was one of the models named by PSA and Iran Khodro in a January 2016 media release concerning production of Peugeot models at a IKCO plant in Tehran:

This 50/50 joint venture lays the foundations for a strategic partnership between the two companies. This joint venture is expected to invest up to €400 million over the next five years in manufacturing and R&D capacity. This investment will contribute to facilitate the development of a competitive manufacturing base for producing, launching and marketing Peugeot 208, 2008 and 301 models, fitted with latest-generation engines.

The first vehicles will roll off the production line at the Tehran plant in the second half of 2017.

The Iranian market reached a peak of 1.6 million vehicles in 2011. It should regain this level within 2 years to reach 2 million vehicles a year by 2022. Current estimates put the number of Peugeot cars on the road in Iran at more than 4 million.

The second generation 208 is due for release in late 2018. It should use CMP, an architecture which Groupe PSA and Dongfeng Motor are co-developing. Production should be at plants in France, Slovakia, China, Brazil and Iran.

The 301 is another model in the B segment though at  4.45m long, it is large for its class. This small sedan is the twin of the Citroen C-Elysee.

Turkey was the first market, the car going on sale there in November 2012. The 301 is also sold in China, Mexico, Central and Eastern Europe, Greece, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, the Middle East, plus Nigeria and certain other African markets. There will also be assembly in Tehran from the second half of this year.

The 301 might be the first vehicle for PSA's forthcoming plant in Morocco. The company has not named the models that it will build there. A media statement in June 2015 said the firm would "...build a plant in the commune of Ameur Seflia in Kenitra province, which will begin producing B and C segment engines and vehicles as from 2019, in order to meet the needs of the region and of Moroccan customers. Starting out with an initial production capacity of 90,000 engines and vehicles, the plant will ultimately raise output to 200,000 units in line with future market demand".

A facelifted 301 premiered at the Guangzhou motor show in November 2016. There should be another facelift in late 2018.

The second generation 301 is due in 2020 though there is a chance that it might instead appear in 2019 if PSA decides not to give the existing model a second styling refresh in 2018.

CMP, a low-cost architecture co-developed by PSA and Dongfeng, will be the basis for 301 Mark 2.

In January, Groupe PSA announced a deal with New Delhi-based CK Birla Group for a return to the local market via a JV. This should mean CKD production at a Hindustan Motors plant in Chennai which makes a small number of Mitsubishi vehicles. 

The next generation 301 could be the first vehicle for the Indian JV but it would likely be a shorter car than today's model so as to slip beneath a key taxation class barrier. A far better vehicle would be a rival for the big-selling Renault Kwid but that would require a substantial spend on a full manufacturing facility, not to mention a major R&D effort to develop a bespoke low-cost architecture.

The second generation 301 will likely be manufactured for up to eight years, with two facelifts. That should mean a lifecycle out to 2028.

C segment

The 308 has another three a half years of production remaining. The five-door car was announced in May 2013, with its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show four months later. The 308 SW, the wagon, had its world premiere at the Geneva motor show in March 2014. The SW is built alongside the hatchback at Sochaux in France.

See below for the 408 (second generation) which was launched at April 2014's Beijing motor show. This car can be thought of as a sedan version of the 308. However, there is also a 308 Sedan, this car having had its world premiere at the Beijing motor show in April 2016. It went on sale across China from September 2016.

The hatchback for China premiered at November 2014's Guangzhou motor show. Local production commenced during the first half of 2015. The DS 4S, which is also built in China, is closely related to the five-door hatchback 308.

The next 308 is expected to be manufactured at the same plants as the existing car, which means production or assembly in France, China, and Nigeria but there should also be build in Iran. At this stage it is too early to speculate on whether or not there will be any shared build locations with Opel but that could well be a possibility.

The first generation 408 is a C segment sedan which is sold in mainly lower income markets. It is based upon the first generation 308. The car's world premiere was in China in the second quarter of 2010.

PSA added assembly of this model at its El Palomar plant in Argentina in November 2010. The car is also exported to other markets in South America.

Meanwhile, PSA and its Malaysian partner, Naza, announced a deal for 408 assembly in December 2010. Under the terms of the agreement, some 60,000 car would be assembled at Naza's Gurun plant between 2011 and 2016. Many of these will be exported to other right-hand drive markets in the Asia-Pacific region. After a delay, the car was launched in the Malaysian market in May 2012.

PSA and Mitsubishi Motors began manufacturing the 408 at their Kaluga plant in Russia in April 2012. The car was launched there two months later. This was the first time that this plant had fully manufactured a vehicle - prior to this, Kaluga had been an assembly facility.

This model is expected to remain in production in some countries until mid-late 2017.

The second generation 408 had its world premiere at April 2014's Beijing motor show and went on sale in China four months later. This car is effectively a sedan version of the 308 though confusingly, there is also a Chinese-built 308 Sedan. The platform is EMP2.

A facelift for the 408 is due out in 2018, to be followed by the arrival of a third generation model in 2022.

D segment

The 508 is now in the final period of its lifecycle, having entered production in France during January 2011. Build in China followed from late 2011 (sedan only). A diesel-electric hybrid 508 variant ('508 HYbrid4') was launched in Europe from the first quarter of 2012 but as it was not popular, production has since ceased.

In March 2013, PSA stated that Agromash would begin SKD assembly of the 301, 3008, 508 and Partner in Kazakhstan from June 2013.

There is one production line at Rennes and all versions of the 508 plus all Citroen C5 variants come down that line.

Mid-life facelifts for the 508 sedan, SW and RXH were announced at an event in London in June 2014. The cars had their public debuts at the Chengdu and Moscow motor shows two months later. At Peugeot's June media launch, it was stated that 360,000 units of the model series had sold since launch. The updated 508 range went on sale across Europe from September 2014, and in China from January 2015.

In July 2014, PSA Peugeot Citroën and PAN Nigeria Limited signed an assembly and sale of cars agreement in Nigeria. The first vehicle concerned by the agreement would be the Peugeot 301, the assembly of which would begin "in the second half of 2014 at the Kaduna plant". Under the terms of the agreement, PAN Nigeria Limited would also be able to assemble the Peugeot 508 and the Peugeot 308, PSA's July statement added.

In 2016, the 508 was the French market's best seller in the D segment with 17,919 registrations, ahead of the Renault Talisman (15,234).

Assembly of the 508 at a plant in Kenya will commence in June, PSA stated in February 2017. This will be SKD via a JV with the importer, URYSIA. Assembly of the 3008 will follow, with "over 1,000" kits a year being imported to the country.

The next 508 is expected to use PSA's EMP2 platform. Some of the styling details were likely previewed by the Exalt, a concept which was exhibited at the Beijing motor show in April 2014.

PSA might well split the 508 successor range in two. As well as replacements for the sedan, wagon & RXH (mostly for Europe), there could also be a rival for the Volkswagen Arteon. Theoretically, this would sell well in China and some European markets.

Production of the new model should commence in late 2018.

Pick-up

A pick-up, which is being developed from the Toyota Hilux's body-on-frame platform, is under development.

In November 2016, Groupe PSA and and STAFIM, Peugeot's long-term partner in Tunisia, signed a letter of intent to assemble and sell a pick-up truck in the country. The planned assembly plant, the location of which was not stated, will start operations in mid-2018, producing 1,200 units annually for the Tunisian market.

Future model plan reports for other manufacturers can be viewed in the OEM product strategy summaries section of just-auto.com.

Future product program intelligence

More data on vehicle lifetime and future product plans is available in PLDB from QUBE.