A new space champion is set to double Peugeot’s share of the lower-medium estate car market.
Boasting a load volume of 1,660 litres, the latest 308 SW should be winning the French company an 11% slice of the workhorse sector in 12 months’ time, believes Peugeot UK fleet and leasing director Martin Gurney.
“We’re very excited about a product that will give us a great opportunity for incremental business,” he said.
“I’m expecting the new car to achieve 5.5% of the market during the second half of this year to equal our result for the whole of 2013 with the previous 308 estate and SW versions.
“From summer, we’ll be competing with a proper estate on a new platform that provides class-leading operating efficiency, greatly-improved quality and all the style and driving performance drivers want.
“Our task now is to get more business users to re-appraise Peugeot in the fleet market.
“We are aiming to have a substantial demonstration fleet and I’m hoping drivers will recognise that a lot of effort went into the improvements that gave us the Car of the Year accolade with the hatchback – and that the SW comes with the same benefits.”
In an interview as the model was being launched in
France, Gurney revealed that Peugeot’s ambition to be
seen as a more upmarket brand meant an end to SW daily rental business.
“This reflects the action we’ve taken with the hatchback – our course now is to seek only true fleet registrations. We believe this is an important part of maintaining the strong residuals now enjoyed by the 308,” he said.
With a new 1.6-litre engine offering benchmark fuel economy of 88.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 85g/km, the mid-range Active version is the ace in the line-up. Powerful and smooth, it is eager away from rest and a refined performer in an ultra-high top gear that produces 80mph from just 2,000rpm. Significantly, it is flexible enough to pull away without snatching from idle in higher ratios.
Touchscreen navigation, cruise control, dual-zone climate control and Bluetooth are all included as standard in a sleek and handsome design that is comfy as well as practical with a 660-litre boot beneath the parcel shelf and neatly-engineered rear seats providing a flat load floor.
“When it goes on sale in June, we’ll have a car that’s two generations ahead of its predecessor – we feel we have the best all-rounder in the segment,” said Gurney.