The launch of the Peugeot 207 on April 6 will give Peugeot "four aces in the small car segment," said Frédéric Saint Geours, CEO of Automobiles Peugeot, speaking at a 207 launch event on the island of Majorca, Spain.

The 206, which will continue in production, will take on a dual role, supporting 207 while continuing with unique versions like the CC and SW. The SW is built at Ryton in the UK and has more recently gone into production at PSA's Porto Real plant in Brazil, writes Anthony Lewis.

The 206 will also be launched into China and Malaysia in the second half of this year as well as heading for Latin America.

"The 206 is a car for emerging markets. We will not go down the Renault-Dacia route," he said. Buyers in emerging markets need to be convinced they are buying a modern car, developed for Europe and matching modern standards.

The 107, PSA's joint venture product with Toyota, will hit around 100,000 sales this year while the 1007 is progressively beginning to conquer the market.

It is taking time to establish itself because it is a new concept, said Saint Geours. Sales in 2005 were 45,000 and the target for 2006 is 60,000.

Production of 207 is currently running at 1,000 a day out of Poissy, said Saint Geours. It will be built at Madrid from April and Slovakia from June when total 207 production will be at 2,000 units a day. Sales are predicted to be 200,000 in 2007, the same as the first full year of 206 in 1998.

Peugeot's global sales target is two million this year, said Saint Geours. Sales in China are up 80% in the first two months of 2006 compared with 2005 and in Latin America sales are 20 per cent ahead.

Anthony Lewis