Peugeot is studying the potential to produce its 408 sedan in Malaysia to supply the region’s right hand drive markets, according to reports in the Australian press.

The 408, a four-door saloonbased on an elongated 308 platform, is so far produced only as with left hand drive at the company’s Wuhan joint venture plant with Dongfeng in China. It is offered with 1.6- and two-litre engines.

The automaker is evaluating the sales potential for a RHD model in the region, Peugeot Automobiles Australia’s general manager, Ken Thomas, told local reporters. 

The company is assessing whether sufficient economies of scale can be generated by exporting the car to other right hand drive markets such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan and within the ASEAN block.

Malaysia is the ASEAN’s largest passenger car (saloon) market and its local distributor Nasim late last year began production of a four-door version of the 207 model for regional markets. That model is also sold in China and South America where buyers prefer sedans to the hatchbacks popular in western Europe.

Thomas was optimistic that a positive decision would be made towards the end of the year, given the strong sales potential for the model in (RHD) Malaysia itself. The cars would likely be imported in semi-knocked down form from China and fitted out with right hand drive components in Malaysia.