The British economy is struggling a bit right now thanks to the same sudden realization that a lot of people got unaffordable mortgages in recent years, just like we are experiencing here in the U.S. Combining that with the same rising fuel prices that everyone else is suffering and the latest changes to the emissions-based London Congestion tax, demand for small low emissions cars is on the rise. Diesel-heavy Peugeot appears to be a beneficiary of that market shift in the UK right now. Their smallest model, the 107, which is rated at just 109g/km of CO2 saw a sales jump of sixteen percent in the first quarter of this year. Having a CO2 rating of less than 120g/km allows drivers of the 107 to drive into central London without having to pay a congestion charge. While that benefits drivers financially and certainly reduces CO2 emissions relative to what it might be without any charge, if everyone shifts to these types of cars it won't actually do much to reduce congestion. Peugeot's diesel-powered vans also performed well in the marketplace with a jump of 4.1 percent.
[Source: Peugeot UK]
LOW EMISSION CARS AND LCVs PERFORM WELL IN PEUGEOT'S FIRST QUARTER SALES
- Sales of the low-emissions 107 are up 16%
- Peugeot van sales increase by 4.1%
- Fleet sales are also up by 2.9%
Peugeot's retail customers appear to be making more considered, cost-based, 'green' decisions, according to its latest Quarter 1 sales.
Sales of the popular 107 increased by 16% to 3,485 units from January to March with Peugeot's smallest car proving to be a cost effective motoring option for the savvy green buyer, with its Band B 109gCO2/km low-emissions grouping.
New car buyers are generally becoming even more environmentally aware. Peugeot customers appear to be focussing on rising fuel costs in particular, as sales of diesel models rose by 2.2% compared to Q1 last year.
A preference for diesel among corporate drivers also helped increase Peugeot fleet sales by 2.9% in Q1 compared with the same period in 2007, which was due to the expanding range availability of the new 308. Combined 307 and 308 sales rose 11.5% to 6,803.
UK motorists are set for an injection of new Peugeot vehicles in the coming months, with the soon to be launched 308 GT THP 175, while the capacious 308 SW variant will extend the range further, with the possibility of seven-seats and its appealing Cielo panoramic glass roof feature, joining the range in June.
Despite a faltering economy, business buyers are still buying new vans. Across the board, Peugeot sales were up 4.1% to 4,744 units in Q1. The award-winning Peugeot Expert performed particularly well with a 7% sales increase over 2007.
Peugeot's van family is also set to multiply from June, with the introduction of a new Bipper and Partner van, further strengthening the position of choice Peugeot can offer its customers. By combining affordability, notable HDi diesel technology and a versatile choice of wheelbase and body styles, these are all ideal features for a wide range of business requirements.
Commenting, Pierre Louis Colin, Managing Director of Peugeot UK, said: "We are pleased with the performance of our small and efficient vehicles, which address the growing needs of our customers. Indeed we now have some 25 new cars, including 107, 206, 207 and 308 models, that fall within Band B for cars emitting 120gCO2/km or less. These customers will also benefit from low £35 VED (road tax) and because of that we fully expect more customers to respond by buying a new Peugeot as the year goes on."