Peugeot bounces back into Pick-up segment
Over 50 guests including select motoring journalists including BusinessDay, brand dealer representatives from the respective African regional markets gathered in the Tunisian capital of Tunis last week for the launch and test-drive of the all-new Peugeot which marks the return of the brand into the Pick-up segment after a long break.
Prior to the product presentation by different company officials during the evening of cocktails, the motoring journalists with our reporter on the driver’s seat undertook a 118.5 kilometer test-drive of the new Pick-up truck 2.5-liter diesel manual engine transmission. Specs available for the official launch were the 4×2 and 4×4 models.
While the on and off-road test-drive lasted, the Peugeot pick-up conveys that nostalgic feeling of stimulating and rewarding driving which has remained the automaker’s trade mark.
By presentation, it is a Pick-up, but on motion, the diesel version delivers a driving comfort of a sedan, uncompromising quality and assuring stability and good handling.
With the scheduled entry of the new Pick-up into Nigeria by early 2018, market watchers believe that, PAN Nigeria Limited, owners of the Peugeot nameplate in the country is set to grab its own slice of the flourishing utility segment in the local market.
The company according to them will latch on the new model to stage a comeback into the country’s automotive business after many years of market lull.
It would be recalled that the company under the Ibrahim Boyi’s turn-around strategy recently delivered 200 units of the Peugeot 508 Executive luxury sedan to members of the House of Representatives among other deals that cut across government at various levels and corporate institutions.
Peugeot, known for chic designs instead of robust workhorses, says that the Pick-up fulfils its target market’s fundamental needs for robustness, endurance and four-wheel drive.
“It is aimed at customers who desire a work tool that is reliable in every circumstance, easy to use and maintain, which allows for a flexible combination of professional and family activities,” Peugeot adds.
As a design throwback, it comes with a traditional truck silhouette, a high body belt line, vertical front, horizontal bonnet and high ground clearance (210 to 215 mm). The door to the bed (1.40m long, 1.39m wide) has “Peugeot” stamped on it, full width, a nod to the old 404 and 504 pick-ups, its maker says, nourished with a modern front grille design.
It is powered by a longitudinal 2.5 litre common-rail turbo-diesel with 115 bhp and 280 Nm of torque, mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. 4×4 and 4×2 versions are available.
The roots are pretty obvious as the changes are limited to the different grille and slightly modified graphics of the headlights and taillights nourished with the imposing lion badge. In a bid to spice things up a bit, the large “Peugeot” lettering at the back is a nod to the 404 and 504 pickups.
In terms of technical specifications, it comes with a ground clearance varying between 210 to 215 mm (depending on model) and is powered by a turbo-diesel 2.5-liter engine with 115 hp (86 kW) and 280 Newton-meters (206 pound-feet) of torque.
The diesel punch is channelled to either a 4×2 or a 4×4 system through a five-speed manual gearbox featuring high and low modes. Go for the all-paw model and Peugeot will throw in some chrome body accents.
While it aims to deliver segment-leading interior room, standard equipment includes manual air conditioning system, electric windows, electric wing mirrors and a CD player with USB port. Also on all Pick Ups are safety kit such as ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors and dual airbags. The 4×4 model gets sport bars, roof bars and footboards for a slightly more “lifestyle” look.
The five-meter utilitarian vehicle will boast a maximum payload of 815 kilograms (1,796 pounds) and is going to have a 1.4-meter long & 1.39-meter wide bed with anchoring hooks. For some African countries, Peugeot will have the utility truck on sale in September exclusively in the double cab flavour.
During evening of cocktail and popping of Champaign to herald the return of the Pick-up segment into the Peugeot family, it was business as usual as officials of PSA France played hosts to hordes of motoring journalists from some African countries including Morocco, Algeria, Ivory and Nigeria among others.
Among the top Peugeot top executives present at the event were Jean-Phillippe Imparato, CEO, Peugeot Brand, Jean-Christophe Quemard, CEO of Middle East & Africa and Beatrice Garric, Product Manager.
Present in almost 160 countries with more than 10,000 sales outlets, Peugeot grew by 4.6 percent in 2015 with 1,710,000 vehicles sold worldwide. It combines design, style and emotion in all areas, with its ambition to be the world’s high-end generalist brand.
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