BRAZIL – It's a Peugeot 207 but not as we know it
'New' Peugeot 207 for Brazil (sedan shown) is actually a re-done 206. The hatchback version was sold in Europe as the 206+
Peugeot begins selling a new model called the 207 Brasil here next week.
It's not the current European 207 – it's an old-shape 206 hatchback with a new 207-like nose. The side panels are unchanged and there are minor changes to the rear lights and bumper, and inside.
The automaker said the redesigned European 207 has a different, more expensive architecture and the South American customer's limited buying power would result in disadvantageous positioning of the 'proper' 207 versus its competitors.
Nonetheless, Fiat has managed to launch the redesigned Punto here and, soon, the Linea, while Honda is readying the redesigned Fit (Jazz), all of which are new designs that compete with the 207 elsewhere.
"The 207 for Brazil and Argentina was developed by our design team in Porto Real, aiming to meet buyer's taste and price expectations. The car has 250 new parts and around 1,000 changes compared with the 206. We intend to fulfill market needs. What it wants, we will offer", said Vincent Rambaud, president of PSA in Brazil and Mercosur.
It's likely the the French group's decision on car design strategy for South America would be far more daring if taken today than when the new local 207 was planned. In the first four months of the year, PSA sold 50% more cars than the same period in 2007 and is jostling with Honda and Renault for fifth ranking in the sales tables.
The goal of selling 300,000 vehicles yearly in Mercosur by 2010 will actually be reached by the end of the year. Plants in Brazil and Argentina are on three shifts and PSA now plans to reach 500,000 units per year between 2010 and 2012.
"We intend to maintain our growth path and profitability," said Rambaud.
An updated 207 sedan (pictured) is also coming and the old 206 hatchback, in lower-specification, three-door form, will remain in production at a competitive price.
Mercosur currently responds for some 10% of PSA's sales.