For theUK, the ambition is that it should knock the Ford Fiesta off the number one slot in the segment; the 206 was the segment leader during its heyday.
Christophe Chateau, 208 product manager, says the arrival of the new model marks a ‘change of era’. The car is smaller and lighter than its two predecessors and the hope is that it will recapture the spirit of the 205.
About 50% of parts are carried over from the 207; new parts are designed to make it lighter (it weighs around 114 kg less than 207 on average) and roomier, so the seats are slimmer, for example. It is also smaller overall, 7cms shorter and 1cm lower.
UKprices for the full range have just been announced and order books are now open with deliveries starting from June. Prices will start at £9,995 for the entry-level Access.
New 1.2 and 1.0-litre three-cylinder engines arrive in June, giving Peugeot a sub-1.4-litre engine in the segment for the first time, a factor that UK product manager Mark Blundell told Headlineauto would be key to winning customers from the Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo.
Peugeot expects 208 sales to be around 265,000 this year rising to 550,000 worldwide in 2013 by which time production will have started inBrazil. Production began inFranceat the start of the year and was extended toSlovakialast month; additional production atMulhousein easternFrancewill be added at the end of this year.
UKsales are forecast to be 22,000 this year rising to 45,000 next year.