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Where automakers could once get by selling in a handful of specific markets, these days, they need to grab as much market share as they can around the world. That's particularly true for a brand like Peugeot that's missing out on one of the largest markets in the world – this one – and so it is ramping up its assault on developing markets with vehicles like the one you see here.
Called 301, the approximately Focus-sized sedan is intended for markets that we once considered the second or third world – markets like Russia, Africa and the Middle East. So not only is it positioned as a more budget-friendly proposition, it's also been developed to deal with a greater range of climates and with poor road conditions that often exist in developing markets. Buyers in these markets will be able to choose engines ranging from 71 to 115 horsepower and benefit from similar levels of features and safety equipment you'd expect to find in wealthier markets.
Now if you're thinking that the last 300-series model from Peugeot was the 308 and were wondering what the marketing gurus at PSA headquarters were planning to do when they got past 309, wonder no more, because they've modified their naming scheme. The first digit (3 in this case) represents the class of vehicle, the 0 (or 00 for crossovers and minivans) remains a constant, and the last digit will either be an 8 (for mainstream products) or a 1 (for emerging markets). Got all that?
The new Peugeot 301 is a clear illustration of the Marque's internationalisation and demonstrates its desire to conquer new markets. It has been specifically designed to appeal to a wide customer base attracted by four-door saloons which are both accessible and present an enhanced level of status. In keeping with Peugeot's desire to introduce cars for specific markets, the 301 is not intended for the UK market.
The Peugeot 301, which in time is expected to become one of the Marque's best selling vehicles worldwide, is positioned at the heart of its segment. It offers modern styling and features that are carefully adapted to fulfil the expectations of the different markets in which it will be sold.
The 301 incorporates the latest stylistic codes of the Marque offering a modern design and character which inspires emotion and gives an impression of strength. Furthermore, the design of this new car was guided at every stage by the desire to be the best in class incorporating Peugeot's highest quality criteria.
The 301 was developed to adapt to all conditions of use, and extremes (hot countries, cold countries, and poor roads). With an overall length of 4.44 metres it sets itself apart with an optimised and generous structure which puts it a step ahead of the competition. So, it will have benchmark characteristics in its segment:
- Class leading occupant space in the rear due to a wheelbase of 2.65 m
- A best in class boot volume of 506 dm3 (VDA 210)
- Safe handling combined with high levels of comfort, the result of Peugeot's chassis expertise and thus guaranteeing excellent driving pleasure under all conditions
- A wide range of safety equipment available: ESP, ABS, up to four airbags, emergency braking assistance, ISOFIX, etc.
The range of latest generation petrol and diesel engines on the 301 is perfectly suited to the expectations of target markets, with power values ranging from 71 bhp to 115 bhp and manual, piloted or automatic gearboxes:
1.2 l VTi 52 kW (71 bhp) (1) with manual or EGC ( electronic gearbox control)
1.6 l HDi 68 kW (92 bhp) with manual gearbox
1.6 l VTi 85 kW (115 bhp) with manual or automatic gearbox
A symbol of modernity, the 301 therefore will become the second car in the Peugeot range, after the 208, to benefit from the new range of 3 cylinder petrol engines (1.2 l VTi) which, due to their advanced technology, combine driving pleasure and reduced fuel consumption.
The 301 incorporates modern comfort equipment (electronic air conditioning, MP3 audio system with Bluetooth hands-free kit and USB connection, remote opening of the boot, rear parking assistance, etc), all of which guarantee an excellent level of comfort on board.
A family vehicle that is both safe and reliable with great driving characteristics, these are elements that have already ensured the success of the Marque in many of the countries where the 301 will be sold. Indeed, Peugeot has been manufacturing motor vehicles for more than 100 years and has designed numerous saloons which have earned and continue to earn their place in motor vehicle history (404, 504, 305, 405, 406, 407, 408, and 508).
The new Peugeot 301, manufactured in Vigo (Spain), will have its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show in September. It will then go on sale from 1st November 2012 in Turkey then into Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Greece, The Middle East, Gulf and African States, as well as in certain Latin American markets.
(1) subject to homologation
WITH THE LAUNCH OF THE NEW PEUGEOT 301 THE MARQUE INTRODUCES A NEW NAMING POLICY
The Peugeot Marque is reinventing its naming policy around the central '0' as part of the development of its internationalisation strategy. In future, Peugeot will choose to use the end digit '1' for all its new 'conquest' models and permanently fix the identity of all models with an end digit '8' for future products.
It was in 1929 with the 201* that Peugeot began its characteristic three-digit numbering system based around the central 'zero'.
The naming system used by Peugeot, going back through history, was structured so that:
- the central zero corresponded to the identity of the Peugeot marque
- the first digit represented the segment size of the vehicle
- the end digit indicated the generation of the vehicle
This system evolved at the end of the '90s, incorporating double letters to qualify the derived body type (CC and SW). Since 2005, it has been supplemented with the central 'double zero' which qualified the models that have had a taller body structure, such as the 3008 and 5008.
In 2012, further International development has led the marque to now reinvent its naming policy further.
From now on, Peugeot models will no longer change their number when they are renewed. Permanently fixing the numbers will simplify the understanding of the range and assist in establishing it further.
The '0' indicates the genetic code
The central '0' represents the genetic code of the Peugeot marque and so is retained.
The first digit: symbol of the segment
The first digit indicating the vehicle's segment (or size), regardless of the market in which it is sold, is also retained.
The end digit is a response to new challenges and new ambitions
Expansion into new markets at an international level calls for the launch of new models in the large volume segments at the heart of these markets.
In future, these models will take their place in the Peugeot range and bear new names: numbers with an end digit '1'.
Designed specifically to fulfil new customer expectations, these new models will offer value for money and status and will supplement the range of models that from now on will remain with the end digit '8'.
The Peugeot 301 is the first of these new models to bear the contemporary stylistic codes of the Marque. These new models will distinguish themselves in their segments through dynamic handling and driving enjoyment - qualities that define the Peugeot brand.
The construction of the names with an end digit '1' will be the same as for the models with an end digit '8'. Numbering with 3 or 4 digits, depending on the design of the vehicle, with:
- the first digit indicating the vehicle's segment positioning
- the '0' or '00' identifying the Peugeot genetic code
- the end digit being either '1' or '8'.
Models with '1'
Following the example of the 201* characterised by strength and economy, in its time, the '1' will represent the Marque's value for money models in their markets that offer status that fulfils customer expectations centred around practicality of use, versatility and vehicle requirements.
Models with '8'
All models that already bear a number with an end digit '8', such as the 308 and 3008, will keep their name when they are renewed and generation 7 models will be replaced with an end digit '8'.
Throughout its history, Peugeot has had the expertise to combine exacting standards with emotion and it is on this foundation that the Marque has established itself, reinventing itself in keeping with market trends and requirements as it extends its international range enhancement.