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Peugeot 408 – Click above for high-res image gallery

In another sign of China's growing importance as an automotive market, Peugeot will use the upcoming Beijing Motor Show to debut its new midsize 408 sedan. The 408 was jointly developed by Peugeot stylists in Europe and China with the aim of appealing to the latter market. The mid-sized segment where the 408 competes comprises 45 percent of the market in that country, so this car could represent a major growth opportunity for the French brand if it succeeds. Peugeot is hoping to follow up its 44-percent sales growth in China last year with another 30-percent jump in 2010.

Aside from the 4.68-meter length, Peugeot hasn't revealed any other technical details at this time. The new sedan will be produced in China by the Peugeot Dong Feng joint venture for the local market. The press release is after the jump.

[Source: Peugeot]

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Peugeot unveils the new 408 at its world premier in Beijing.

A decisive step in the Lion's offensive on the world's foremost automobile market. Presented today, as a world premier on the Chinese market, to around 300 Chinese journalists and more than 700 network representatives by Jean-Marc Gales the Marque's Managing Director, the new Peugeot 408 marks a further step in the Marque's offensive on the world's foremost automobile market.

Despite being present on the Chinese market for 5 years only, the Peugeot Marque sold over 410 000 vehicles in 2009. This corresponds to a 44% sales increase compared with its 2008 performance.

Following its fine performance in the M1 segment with the success of the 307 saloon and the 307 notch-back, of which 3,522,800 have been produced worldwide, Peugeot is now quite legitimately embarking on a Chinese market offensive with its new 408 DF Peugeot.

This new prestigious notchback tailored for the Chinese market will serve to reinforce Dong Feng Peugeot's product offer on the M1 segment that accounts for over 45 % of the total market.

In this manner, the new Peugeot DF 408 should enable the Lion Marque to increase its sales volumes by over 30% in 2010, compared with 2009, and thereby to grow at twice the forecast pace of the market.

This half-height architecture notch-back saloon has been designed and developed jointly by Peugeot's Styling teams in Europe and China and meets three objectives: embody the Marque's modernity, guarantee maximum safety and offer unrivalled interior space.

The 408 name follows the Lion Marque's traditional naming logic. The figure 4 refers to the size of the car (4.68 m) and its positioning in the medium-luxury family saloon segment. The 0 in the middle signifies that it belongs to the Peugeot Marque, while the 8 expresses the vehicle generation. With this name, the 408 naturally falls into place within the current Peugeot range and becomes the forerunner of the 8 series, the latest generation vehicles to be launched on the Chinese market.

The Dong Feng Peugeot 408 is the fruit of work by the joint venture set up between PSA Peugeot Citroe╠łn and the Chinese group DFM. The car is being produced at the Wuhan plant in Hubei province in China. It is positioned to become one of the market's benchmark vehicles with a full-year sales target of 100,000 units.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Can we get the headlights back on the front of the car, and not running halfway done the fender, please?
      • 5 Years Ago
      MIDDLE kingdom? I find that insulting. It's called the CENTRAL kingdom. CENTRAL!
        • 5 Years Ago
        There's nothing insulting about using "middle kingdom" in reference to China.

        According to Wiki, in ancient times the official name of China changed with each dynasty. The common name is "Zhongguo" which translates to "central nation" or traditionally "middle kingdom".

        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't see how that's insulting. Many old Chinese words are intentionally ambiguous and are left open to interpretation. I personally prefer "middle" as in the Taoist concept of balance and avoiding extremes, rather than the imperialist concept of "centre of the world".
      • 5 Years Ago
      reminds me of the last gen Acura RL...not that thats a bad thing
      • 5 Years Ago
      Are you sure this is 408, the same model that should replace European 607 and 407? Frankly it looks to me like one of those special editions models for Chinese market, like 308 notch-back.PSA hase done similar things before for Chinese market, with their 206-Citroen C1 hybrid
        • 5 Years Ago
        No! This is a saloon version of the 308. The "408" name is used only in China. Here in Brazil, it'll be called 308 Sedan and will replace the 307 Sedan (which is hideous).

        The 508 is gonna be a completely new car and will replace the 407 and 607 at the same time.
      • 5 Years Ago
      James, I wouldn't be so fast to quote Wikipedia. Virtually all colleges now ban information gleaned from Wikipedia as being false, misleading or otherwise.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Another in a long line of great looking Peugeots
        • 5 Years Ago
        Nice looking Peugeot..though with the front door quarter windows, this new 408 reminds me of a "stretched" SX4 sedan profile.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Only missing the retractable aerodynamic kit, spoiler, hood scoop, and racing wheels in Taxi.
      • 5 Years Ago
      ...Yawn...just more "Asian-derivitive" styling for a growing market...$$$. This is a boring loooking car to me.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nice front end. The rest, not so much. Serious proportion issues, especially with the tail lights. And didn't I see that dashboard in the last generation CLK?
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's based on the European Pug 308, nothing related to the 407 or its successor (the 508, which will replace the 607 as well)
      • 5 Years Ago
      This isn't the Euro 407 replacement, it's a Chinese sedan variant of the 308. Hence it's launch at Beijing!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hate that huge Peugeot logo; wouldn't mind it if it were a little smaller. The car's quite decent, though.
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