OPINION | Peugeot is underrated in SA, here's why the refreshed brand could rise up

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2021 Peugeot 2008
2021 Peugeot 2008

Peugeot's PACT is the brand's promise to deliver a high level of workmanship and after sales service.

The French brand had complaints in the past regarding parts distribution and turnaround times.

Peugeot recently underwent a logo rebranding as part of their upward shift in the market.

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The vast majority of vehicles flooding the roads these days are from the German or Japan variety. Toyota and Volkswagen are the top candidates, both of which have a long-standing history in South Africa.

In recent years, the likes of Hyundai, Suzuki and Renault have upped their game locally - most notably in the entry-level and compact SUV markets with a variety of affordable offerings.

French foray

Peugeot is another automaker with a deep-rooted history in SA, but in years gone by, they have struggled to establish a firm grip on any given segment it competes in.

Having already undergone a logo rebranding, what do you think is the next area Peugeot should focus on? Email us, or please leave a comment below.

In the past, customers were at odds with the French brand, mainly due to its vehicles having a long waiting period for sourcing parts and turnaround time involving repairs. To mitigate this at present, Peugeot South Africa implemented an aftersales PACT - spelt out Professionalism, Availability, Conformity and Transparency - with customers, which substantially increases customer satisfaction deliver a level of service that's comparable to the best in the business.

Further aiding the automaker's cause, is the alignment with FCA. Peugeot and sister-brand Citroën (PSA) have joined forces with Fiat Chrysler (FCA) to create Stellantis: the world's fourth-largest automaker in terms of volume, and third biggest in terms of sales. Along with Peugeot, Citroën, Fiat, and Chrysler, the following automakers also form part of Stellantis: Jeep, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati.

Peugeot reveals new logo and brand identity

Peugeot recently unveiled its brand new logo - the 11th time in its history - that acknowledges the brand's evolution, an innovative model line-up and continuing its transition to electrification, having committed to offering an electrified variant across its range by 2025.

Quick Review | Good looking and fun - Blitzing around in Peugeot's new 2008 GT

Even with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Peugeot SA had a sombre 2020 prompting many to ask if they could hold their own in markets being overrun by examples from Korea and, ironically, France.

If 2020 was the wind-up and the pitch, then 2021 is set to be the home run. The year is very much still in its infancy, and they've already launched the 2008 SUV - Peugeot's most affordable SUV priced from R359 900. The imminent arrival of the Landrek bakkie in SA later this year will undoubtedly provide a catalyst for a segment they never previously ventured.

Doing it right

Previous sedan and SUV models featured odd-looking designs, lacking the pulling power required to grab the buyer's attention, with the 206 hatch becoming the most popular option.

Fast-forward to the present, and just about every Peugeot model has seen significant upgrades in both the styling and technological department. Their sophisticated 3D i-Cockpit and three-claw light design represent a solid paradigm shift, features that are well on par with some of the best their rivals has to offer.

Peugeot Landtrek
2021 Peugeot Landtrek

I can attest to this, having previously driven the 5008 GT Line and what a superb vehicle it is to not only drive but admire from afar. I remembered thinking, "why aren't more people buying Peugeot's if they look this good?"

READ | Peugeot has a brand new logo to kick off their new chapter - here's what it's all about

Because of what previous customers experienced with Peugeot's in the past, many of them are apprehensive about giving new models a chance - some swapping brand allegiances altogether. Think of it as a girl who has been hurt many times in past relationships and afraid to open up and commit to someone new - a bit of an emotional scenario but conveys a somewhat similar principle.

Peugeot Landtrek
2021 Peugeot Landtrek

With the introduction of PACT, customers now have a solid platform on which to base their purchase. There is nothing as authentic as a statement made by an automaker with their motoring interests at heart - something which was sorely lacking more than a decade ago.

Peugeot has crossed the premium threshold and, using the 2008 as a base, it would typically go up against the likes of the Renault Captur or VW T-Roc but can also sit in the company of the Audi Q2, for example.

Consumers generally have a one-track mind when it comes to buying a new car. The 'if everyone is driving it, then I should as well' analogy can leave little room for brand diversity.

People are gradually starting to warm up to the idea of owning Peugeot's again. Beginning with a new face, the feeling is that they are only getting started.

Disclaimer: Wheels24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of contributors/columnists published on Wheels24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24 or Wheels24. 

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