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For us North Americans, the Peugeot 205 GTi has little or no significance, especially since it was never sold here and the last Pug we could get our hands on was the 405 Mi16 back in 1992.
In Europe however, the 205 GTi, produced from 1984-94 is revered; a sharp handling overachiever of a hot hatch that was inexpensive to own and tremendous fun to drive. Following its demise, Peugeot tried to capture the car’s quintessential spirit with the 206 and 207 GTi models, though these cars never achieved the same cult status as the original.
With the new 208, that replaces the 207 for the 2012 model year and the 30th anniversary of the 205 GTi not far off, perhaps now is as good a time as any to introduce a true successor to the original, much like VW has done with its own hot hatch. The Peugeot 208 GTi concept, revealed at Geneva, plays heavily on the old 205 theme, not only in the side glass window treatment, but also the brushed aluminum appliqué on each rear quarter panel.
Other distinguishing exterior features on the 208 GTi concept include a special front fascia, rocker panel extensions, rear deck spoiler and dual chrome exhaust tips. Inside, sport bucket seats upholstered in Nappa leather with tartan inserts, plus a dash trimmed in Alcantara, along with a black headliner, leather wrapped steering wheel and aluminum pedals, help convey the sporty theme.
Under the hood is a RCZ 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine cranking out 200 horsepower, teamed with a six-speed manual gearbox, while a wide track, big alloy wheels and low profile performance tires round things off. Finished in attention grabbing red paint the 208 GTi concept was definitely one of the highlights of the Geneva show and there’s little doubt a production version will materialize, though it would be cool if it debuts as a 2014 model, to coincide with the 205 GTi’s 30th birthday.
As for North American sales, don’t get your hopes up, though if this new Peugeot-GM alliance thing really gets going, there’s a chance we might again see cars with Lion badges sitting in stateside showrooms. If that day comes, we hope there’s a little GTi hatchback among them.
GALLERY: Peugeot 208 GTI
German car firm BMW is well known for its technological innovations, and the company won’t be caught resting on its laurels.
In pursuit of future technologies, BMW is looking to partner up with General Motors to develop fuel-cell technology, and may even further extend their hand to PSA Peugeot Citroen to co-develop gasoline engines.
According to BMW’s CEO Norbert Reithofer, he “can imagine” joining forces with a North American partner to develop advanced technologies, since that cuts down on cost for future products.
Peugeot also has several partners around the world (like its recent partnership with GM) for developing technologies, and hence BMW now wants to use that strategy as well.
GM recently bought a 7% stake in PSA, hoping this partnership will help expand not only the brands technologies, but also its sales.
BMW recently signed a deal with PSA to jointly develop four-cylinder engines. This current deal will expire in 2015.
[Source: Automotive News]
General Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroën inked a deal yesterday that will see the companies partnering to further their interests in Europe.
“This partnership brings tremendous opportunity for our two companies,” said Dan Akerson, GM chairman and CEO. “The alliance synergies, in addition to our independent plans, position GM for long-term sustainable profitability in Europe.”
The companies plan to share vehicle platforms, components and modules and to create a global purchasing joint venture that will improve both groups’ leverage in sourcing goods and services from suppliers by commanding $125 billion in purchasing power.
As part of the deal GM will acquire a seven percent stake in PSA Peugeot Citroën.
“This alliance is a tremendously exciting moment for both groups and this partnership is rich in its development potential. With the strong support of our historical shareholder and the arrival of a new and prestigious shareholder, the whole group is mobilized to reap the full benefit of this agreement,” Philippe Varin, chairman of the managing board of PSA Peugeot Citroën said.
The alliance will initially focus on small and midsize cars, MPVs and crossovers, the first of which is expected to launch in 2016.
We’ve already got the Renault/Nissan Alliance, so why not a General Motors/ PSA Peugeot-Citroen one? Well according to PSA Chief Executive Philippe Varin that might just be a possibility, at least from a manufacturing standpoint.
Varin says that PSA is currently in talks with General Motors, discussing the possibility of GM teaming up with the French automaker to help stem the latter’s stagnant sales in Europe (on which it heavily relies) as well as helping reduce manufacturing costs.
The idea is to see both automakers develop and manufacture cars and powertrains through a joint effort in Europe, though each manufacturer would retain its separate branding, marketing and distribution network.
This is seen as adding benefits to both PSA and Opel, GM’s European arm which, like Peugeot, is currently struggling to compete against giants like Volkswagen and Renault, thanks to high labor costs and limited manufacturing capacity.
The venture will also give Peugeot improved access to overseas markets such as China and South America; it could possibly even witness a return of the brand to the US for the first time since 1992.
However, any joint venture between the two companies will have to receive the blessing of the Peugeot family, which still controls some 30 percent of PSA stock. In addition with failed merger talks between Peugeot and Mitsubishi still relatively fresh on some minds, Varin is understandably cautious about any future alliances, though with European sales dropping by 8.8 percent last year and Peugeot stock halving in value over the last 12 months, any joint venture would certainly be welcome news.
In the meantime while discussions take place, Peugeot is doing what it can to weather the current economic storm, Varin having recently announced that the company will be selling some 1.5 billion euros ($1.98 billion) in assets to help alleviate debt, which currently stands at around 3.4 billion euros ($4.5 billion).
[Source: Auto News]
World War II jokes aside, the French and the Germans are joining forces this time…and for powers of good. BMW and PSA Peugeot Citroën plan to invest 100 million Euros and the efforts of 400 employees into developing hybrid technology, to be shared by both brands.
The program, excitingly titled “BMW Peugeot Citroën Electrification,” will be based in both Munich, Germany, and Mulhouse, France. The program will add over 100 new engineering jobs to the two cities and will focus on hybrid components such as battery packs, E-machines, generators, power electronics, chargers, and software.
“As responsible carmakers, we aim to create an open European platform and foster the development of European standards for hybrid technologies,” said Philippe Varin, Chairman of the Managing Board of PSA Peugeot Citroën. “This joint venture will also enable us to develop advanced technological manufacturing expertise in Europe in the field of electric powertrains, and to retain all its potential for creating value.”
This is not the first time BMW and PSA Peugeot Citroën have worked together; in 2002, the two companies developed and built four-cylinder engines for MINI, Peugeot and Citroën cars. And in 2010, they worked on a replacement four-cylinder engine that will meet new EU 6 emissions requirements.
The program is scheduled to start at the end of 2011, and we can expect to see hybrid-equipped BMWs, Peugeots and Citroëns in 2014.
BMW and French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen have officially announced plans to partner on development of hybrid components for front-drive vehicles. Currently the two automakers already share engines, between the Peugeot, Citroen and MINI brands. It’s expected that the new hybrid drivetrains will be shared with models from those ranges (including the next-generation MINI Cooper) as well as with BMW’s upcoming lineup of front-drive 1 Series models.
“This cooperation will deliver a major contribution towards a competitive cost structure in the field of electrification. It also represents another important step on the road to sustainable mobility,” said Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.
Official release after the jump:
PSA Peugeot Citroen is the first automaker to publicly stand up to the Chinese government’s proposed Green Car Plan. Recently an initial draft of a new piece of Chinese government legislation was leaked in which was revealed plans by the world’s largest auto market to strong arm international auotmakers into sharing their hybrid and electric vehicle technology with Chinese partners.
Currently in China if an automaker wants to set up shop it has to partner with a local company in order to do so. Under China’s new Green Car Plan, designed to make China a world leader in hybrid and EV technology, partnerships would now require the local business to take a controlling share of the joint venture if the international company wanted to build or sell “green” cars in China. In other words, the Chinese government is using the lure of its massive (and expanding) auto market to pry industry secrets away from companies – something that isn’t sitting well at all with companies like PSA Peugeot Citroen, after pouring billions of dollars into their own development projects.
In a recent interview with Automotive News China, PSA CFO Frederic Saint Geours commented rather unequivocally that, “The Chinese government will have to reconsider its position.”
With PSA making this dramatic statement, other automakers are likely to step forward and challenge the Chinese governments policy.
[Source: Automotive News China via Autoblog]
A little over a month after the new Outlander Sport SUV (known as the ASX or RVR in the rest of the world) took a bow at the New York Auto Show, Mitsubishi has announced that it will be giving a variation of the sharp-looking crossover to Peugeot and Citroen, two companies which have had a long alliance with the Japanese automaker.
The Peugeot/Citroen variant will come with a very European 1.6-liter diesel engine, and the choice of either front or four-wheel-drive. Expected to launch in 2012, Peugeot and Citroen expect to move a combined 50,000 units per year, with the companies forecasting a 60% growth in SUV sales by 2015. While Europe is not usually thought of as hot spot for SUVs, compact crossovers (like this small, diesel powered model) are a hit and the ASX could potentially be a popular vehicle for locales with tight, winding streets and high fuel prices.
Official release after the jump:
New engines will be used in future MINI models
BMW and French automaker Peugeot Citroen have signed a new agreement to work together to develop a new generation of improved 4-cylinder engines. The new powerplants will be used in BMW’s MINI lineup as well as in Peugeot’s 207 and Citroen’s C3 Picaso.
BMW recently made several changes to the 2010 versions of the engines in Europe, delivering improved power and fuel economy. MINI also did away with the smaller 1.4-liter four-cylinder in its MINI One and MINI First models in favor of a larger but more efficient 1.6-liter engine.
The new engine lineup is being created to meet Europe’s upcoming 2014 “EU 6″ emissions regulations, and should deliver impressive fuel economy. Currently, the MINI Cooper achieves an impressive 28-mpg city, 37-mpg highway fuel economy rating in the U.S.
BMW and Peugeot Citroen also said the two automakers would look to work together in other areas, including production and development of select components.
BMW rival Mercedes-Benz is currently also engaged in talks with a French automaker, Renault, over a potential partnership on platforms and engines for a new line of small cars, including the next A-Class and B-Class.
[Source: Canadian Business]
Europe’s second largest automaker, French company PSA Peugeot Citroen, is considering purchasing Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors. News of the possible purchase comes from Nikkei English News, and had Mitsubishi’s shares up 13.4 percent in overseas trading.
A similar report in Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that Peugeot would take a 53 percent stake in Mitsubishi Motors worth about $3.8 billion, with Mitsu taking a reverse 18 percent stake in the French automaker. This business sharing platform wold be similar to the one that Nissan and Renault engaged in roughly a decade ago when the French automaker bought the then-struggling Nissan.
The combined sales tallies of both companies in 2008 totaled 4.45 million vehicles, which would make any new company the sixth largest automaker in the world.
Some are skeptical of just what Peugeot sees in Mitsubishi, but there are many reasons to suggest why Peugeot is interested. For starters, Mitsubishi certainly has greater expertise in SUVs and crossovers – like the new Outlander GT (pictured above). Next up, this year Mitsubishi became the first automaker in the world to begin sales of an electric car, the iMiEV, and Peugeot is certainly keen on EV technology. Also, the added production output of more electric cars would make for bigger discounts.
Skeptics argue that the biggest problem with the merger is that while Mitsubishi does have a foothold in certain market’s that are foreign to the French automaker, Mitsu’s impact in those markets (like in Noth America) is insignificant. However, a brand like Mitsubishi does have a strong cult-like following, especially amongst performance car nuts, and would be much easier to build on than introducing a French brand.
The more realistic roadblock, however, is likely to be Peugeot’s limited resources having suffered significantly during the recent economic downturn.
The BusinessWeek report does suggest that the talks are ongoing and that a decision could be announced by as early as January.