An ambitious expansion brand for the PSA group is set to boost the number of Peugeots and Citroens on sale in Australia, including some surprising new models.
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.