The firm believes the strength of its range means it needs to promote all of its cars into all markets equally, with no specific targeting of one or two models, as fleets shift from relying purely on lower and upper-medium offerings and explore new niches for their drivers.
With the introduction this year of 207 variants including the GTI hot hatch which runs the same 175bhp engine as the MINI Cooper S, the folding hardtop CC and the SW lifestyle estate, and its new 4007 small SUV, Steve Harris, the firm’s director, fleet and leasing, believes Peugeot is ideally poised to take full advantage of the changing face of fleet.
He said: ‘Years ago, it was the case that a fleet might do a solus, or two-badge deal and take saloons and hatchbacks, and that was it. But that’s changing, illustrated by the 307 CC, which was up nearly 90% last year.
‘Company car drivers want choice, and leasing companies are keen to spread residual risk across as many sectors and vehicles as possible.
‘This year, we’ll be looking to increase share in all sectors, from core fleet offerings to the likes of convertibles and SUVs.’
Last year, only the 407 and outgoing 206 struggled while most other products saw marked sales increases, with the firm up 15% in fleet year-on-year to more than 75,000 units.
It seems unlikely that 407 will see a big recovery from the 15,000 or so sold in 2007 due the to move away from the traditional saloon, but a combination of a new sportier-styled 170bhp diesel Sport XS model at the top end, the continued success of the 307 CC and the introduction of the 4007 should consolidate Peugeot’s position at the £15,000 price point and above, Harris believes.
The Sport XS model, which will be available with Peugeot’s RT4 multimedia offering, which includes sat-nav and a 200-album capacity hard drive, is targeting the Mondeo ST and will be on sale from February.
The 4007 will be launched in late summer.