The brands under parent PSA Group, have announced a bullish global growth strategy that will see a new model per brand launched each year in each region around the world between now and 2021.
For Australian new-car buyers, this means greater diversity and competition in the market, including in previously unfilled niches, such the utility segment.
The Peugeot/Citroen-badged ute is perhaps the most interesting new model, as part of a plan coined ‘Push to Pass’ by PSA’s chairman of the managing board Carlos Tavares.
The ute won’t be the group’s own development, but a model sourced from another maker. It’s not yet confirmed where the brands will look, however existing tie-ins with Toyota for PSA’s light commercial vehicles could provide the clue.
A Gallic version of the iconic Toyota HiLux would make for an unlikely new player in the booming ute segment, but could bring some benefits. The HiLux, as the best-selling ute in Australia would be a fine choice as a donor, and French engineering input into the ride versus load-carrying compromise may make for a more comfortable family car, which is how many dual-cab utes are used.
A Citroen or Peugeot pick-up isn’t a first – the brand once offered a utility version of its 504 model – and European brands already looking to Japan for a shared ute platform include Fiat (Mitsubishi Triton), Mercedes-Benz and Renault (Nissan Navara).
Even if Citroen’s ute were identical to a HiLux beyond its chevron badge, it would have double the warranty (at six years) of its Toyota counterpart, which is a big plus for buyers.