The Peugeot brand has been the driving force behind PSA Group's record financial and sales performance. The 3008 and 5008 crossovers have become international hits while cars such as the 2008, 208 and 308 continue to be strong sellers. This year, Peugeot will sell a full-electric version of the new 208, along with plug-in hybrid versions of the 508 and 3008. Peugeot CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato talked about the brand's future with Automotive News Europe Correspondent Peter Sigal.
With the introduction of the e-208, Peugeot is selling a true mass-market electric vehicle for the first time. How will you convince buyers to choose an electric powertrain?
There are three key messages around the 208: The first is design. We think it's irresistible, and there's no difference between the internal combustion and electric versions. The second point is the i-Cockpit design, which has been a hit in the 3008 and 508. It's also the first car in the segment with an eight-speed automatic transmission. But the main message we want to send is: We make it simple to choose your powertrain depending on your usage of the car.
What is your sales strategy?
We are focusing on the residual value of the car, switching from a focus on the MSRP [manufacturer's suggested retail price] to TCO [total cost of ownership] and leasing. In some countries, depending on incentives and CO2 taxes, the TCO for the electric 208 will be the same as a gasoline model with an automatic gearbox. For a 48-month lease, we are offering the gasoline version for 269 euros a month, diesel for 289 euros and electric for 299 euros. These figures show that in the next five to six years the electric vehicle market will move a lot. The real question is the infrastructure.