The new 3008 and 5008 MPV [multi-purpose vehicle/minivan/people carrier] ranges Peugeot introduced in the last year have done wonders for the UK unit’s sales. Demand for the 3008, part SUV, part MPV, with a hint of hatchback and with two wheel drive, are 50% ahead of target.  Demand for the larger 5008 is 40% more and the two ranges combined are so far 6,000 units ahead of schedule. Overall this added demand has boosted the brand’s UK sales 29.4% in the first four months of this year.

The 3008 and 5008 carry the new Peugeot ‘face’, rather than the older ‘big mouth’ grille and have opened doors to new conquest customers – at retail and fleet/business user-chooser levels, UK communications director Andrew Didlick said at the media introduction of the new RCZ 2+2 sports coupe this week. Conquest customers accounted for 75% of 3008/5008 demand to date.

For the 2,500 RCZ units allocated to the UK this year, dealers have already taken 841 orders.  Next year there could be an allocation of 3,500 units from the 17,000 unit run at Magna Steyr in Austria. The UK – which likes stylish European coupes – will be the second largest market outside France for the RCZ.

UK sales start 20 May at GBP20,450 to GBP24,550 and there will be three engine options: 1.6-litre THP 156 petrol and two-litre 163bhp turbodiesel now plus a 200bhp petrol 1.6 from August.

Half the advance orders are for diesels engine which suggests considerable interest from high mileage business-user chooser customers. In the longer term, Peugeot expects 35% will choose the diesel, 30% the 156bhp petrol with manual transmission and 10% will order that engine with torque converter automatic transmission. A quarter will opt for the 200bhp petrol motor. 

Sport and GT trim/equipment levels are, unusually in a niche sector, available with all engines and Peugeot expects the GT to be most popular.  There are no Sport options but GTs can be factory enhanced.

Peugeot also plans to introduce new powertrains range wide, including small capacity three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, hybrids, plug-in electric and fuel cell. The first electric (a rebadged Mitsubishi i-MiEV called the i0n) arrives at the end of this year and the small three cylinder engines and diesel hybrids in 2011.

But Peugeot said the key in the near to long-term future remains improved efficiency of petrol and diesel engines as mainstream power sources. Expect to see a 15% to 20% improvement in CO2 emissions compared to today.