PSA Peugeot Citroen, Europe’s second-largest carmaker, has received more than 24,000 orders for the 2008-model crossover that the company sees as key to reviving deliveries and earnings.
The 2008, already built at Peugeot’s factory in Mulhouse, France, will be made in Wuhan, China, starting in 2014 and in Porto Real, Brazil, a year later, said Sacha Farkas, a spokesman at the Paris-based manufacturer. By the time all three plants are producing the 2008, annual sales of the model will total 200,000 vehicles, he said, reiterating a goal outlined in early March, when Peugeot started taking orders.
The carmaker, which reported a 576 million-euro ($758 million) operating loss last year, has a target of reducing cash consumption 50 percent this year to 1.5 billion euros by reducing spending while adding models. Peugeot is betting on the new 208 compact city car and the 2008, a derivative of that vehicle, to help it keep market share in Europe, where the industrywide sales are falling for the sixth year in a row.
Maxime Picat, head of the Peugeot brand, said on May 22 that he’s “very confident” of sales being supported by models such as the 208 and 2008 and a new version of the 308 sedan coming out later this year to compete with European market leader Volkswagen AG.
The 2008 and the Captur built by Peugeot’s main domestic competitor, Renault SA, are part of the French manufacturers’ efforts to woo younger drivers and gain a foothold in a segment that has grown 45 percent since 2007. The market for compact crossovers may more than double by 2016.
The Mulhouse plant’s workforce totals about 7,700 employees, with about 250 people on temporary contracts, according to Philippe Kalb, a spokesman at the site. The number of shifts working on the 2008 assembly line at Mulhouse will increase to 1.5 from 1 as of Sept. 16, the company said in a statement in May. Other models built at the factory include the Citroen brand’s C4 sedan and premium DS4 model.