Just over a year into the job, Peugeot’s UK managing director Pierre Louis Colin knows what he’s been missing – a ‘hot hatchback’.

“Peugeot has lost something in terms of image over the past few years,” said Colin. “I think a lot of it is down to the fact that we have not had a good hot hatch since the old 205 GTI.”

The GTI badge did live on in the ‘warm’ 206 and has reappeared on the new 175bhp 207 launched at Geneva.

“Peugeot was always very well known for its small, sporty cars and now with the new model we can get back some of that reputation.”

Colin also said the brand was still recovering from poor quality at the launch of the larger 307 six years ago. The car was known for electrical problems, in particular.

“This has taken a long time to get out of the system,” Colin added. “We no longer have quality issues and our customer satisfaction ratings are now very high.

“Last year was notable for a number of achievements, we increased our market share in the UK from 5.9% to 6.2%. Already in the first two months of this year we are at 6.5%.”

Last year also saw the successful launch of the new 207. This will be joined this year by the new Mitsubishi Outlander-derived 4007 SUV launched at Geneva and due in the UK towards the end of the summer.

The 207 station wagon – displayed as a thinly-disguised ‘concept’ in Switzerland – will arrive early in summer.

Colin is also pushing for a new colour in the UK – based on the metallic green Holland & Holland ‘concept’ 4007 at Geneva.

Peugeot linked up with the Chelsea, London-based sporting goods outlet to produce the model with special interior – and leather-clad door mirrors and roof.