Peugeot is to switch to a four-digit model naming for its new models, beginning with the 1007 small car due out later this year.

Beginning with the 201 in 1929, the French company has jealously guarded its three-digit model names, always with ‘0’ in the middle, ever since.

In the 1970s, Mazda had to rename its ‘808’ model the ‘818’ in some markets after Peugeot brought large legal guns into play.

Boeing, however, got away with naming its first jet airliner the ‘707’ in the late 1950s.

In what would be a strong contender for this year’s most verbose press release so far, Peugeot says (among many other things): “The 3-digits are an essential component of Peugeot’s brand identity.

“The first digit indicates the family to which the vehicle belongs, its size in the range.
The second digit, always ‘0’, is the link between the number denoting membership of a particular family and that denoting a particular generation. The third digit indicates the generation of the model.”

But the company then adds: “However, in response to market fragmentation and the consequent need for a wider range of products – each with strong distinguishing features – Peugeot has decided to expand its naming system by doubling the central 0.”

As our American readers might say: “Go figure.”