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A ‘revitalized’ Peugeot PHL continues to keep busy, trots out new 3008 SUV

BARELY a month since officially debuting as the “new and sole” country distributor of the French automaker, Astara (formerly known as Bergé Auto) has bad-man intentions. It has clearly hit the ground running. Already, two vehicle launches have been tucked under its belt as it trotted out the newest iteration of the 3008 SUV last Friday via an online launch.

Established in 1979, Astara is among the largest auto distributors in Europe and Latin America. Peugeot Philippines said in a release that “the company carved out a successful path as a leading group in distribution and mobility services. Astara is instrumental in the selling of over three million cars as strategic partner of the world’s leading automotive groups.”

Before we get into the 3008, let’s also make mention of the fact that Peugeot Philippines is moving forward across multiple fronts. Its managing director, Raoul Picello, revealed that the dealership network will continue to grow this year. “Construction of our new dealership in Alabang is under way and we are on track to open in March. I can also confirm that Peugeot Cebu and Peugeot Davao will begin construction of their new facilities very soon,” he said. “Customer response to our brand has been positive since we re-launched the company last Jan. 17, and we look forward to continue this momentum with each new Peugeot vehicle and showroom that we will introduce to the Philippine market.” The target is to reach 12 dealerships before 2022 is done and dusted.

Peugeot Philippines Brand Head Maricar Parco described the 3008 as the “next step” in the marque’s “revitalization” in the Philippines, a “leader in the compact SUV market with an outstanding commercial performance in Europe and internationally. We are confident that its success will carry on in the Philippines.”

She stated confidently, “We are ambitious and we’re looking at improving our sales this year. As announced last month, we have two more products to introduce within the year.” Of course, the executives are, for now, keeping their cards close to the chest.

Replying to a question from “Velocity,” Mr. Picello said there are “three key areas of strategy over the short term.” These are brand awareness, network coverage, and processes and dealerships.

On brand awareness: “We have to be present. We have to be back on the Filipino’s shopping menu,” he declared, and continued that the dealership network needs to grow quickly while improving processes in pursuit of an excellent customer experience.

Over the mid to long term, Mr. Picello stated that Peugeot Philippines is looking at the digitalization of its processes to be in lockstep with what today’s customers want and need, and what the executive called an “alternative mobility business.”

For her part, Ms. Parco shared that the company will continue to “study other options and opportunities” for the brand.

Like the 5008, the 3008 is manufactured at the Stellantis factory in Gurun, Malaysia. “All vehicles built in this plant undergo specific endurance and quality testing to deliver best-in-class performance to meet the needs of customers in Southeast Asia,” reported the company. “The new Peugeot 3008, together with the… 5008 successfully endured a combined 300,000 kilometers of testing in the diverse local climate and environmental landscape.”

Priced at P2.09 million, the five-seater sport utility vehicle boasts an updated front fascia, highlighted by a new frameless grille to underscore its modernity “while maintaining a fluid design, (extending) with fins under the headlamps to connect all of the elements. To emphasize the sportiness, shiny black side scoops and a painted tread plate have been included into the new bumper.” Full LED headlamps are featured behind a redesigned assembly with “fang-like” DRLs with a chrome tip. This is said to update the 3008 in line with the current design ethos across the brand. LEDs also make their appearance in the rear, accentuated by a “3D claws” look – and the SUV receives “scrolling” turn indicators lighting up sequentially. Peugeot visually stretches the width of the rear through smoked glass for the lights, extending the black boot lid on both sides of the vehicle. The 3008 rolls on 18-inch Los Angeles alloy wheels, and features roof rails.

The driver and passengers will be welcomed into a refreshed cabin. The brand’s trademark i-Cockpit is seen to heighten the experience for the driver. The suite of tech has been enhanced “with bigger screens, configurable displays and a compact multifunction steering wheel for heightened response and improved agility.” A 12.3-inch digital head-up display is customizable and configurable, according to Peugeot, even as it promises better readability and contrast. A central infotainment high-definition touchscreen measures 10 inches. Meanwhile, toggle switches provide controls for the radio, air-conditioning, 3D connected navigation with voice command, vehicle settings, telephone, mobile applications, and hazard lights.

Powering the vehicle is a 1.6-liter twin-scroll turbo high-pressure (THP) engine mated with a six-speed automatic transmission. The system outputs 165hp and 240Nm.

Advanced driver assistance systems include: active blind spot detection, active lane keep assistance, and advanced driver attention warning. The 3008 is fitted with an anti-theft alarm, front parking sensors and power lift gate with foot control for added security, safety, and convenience. Customers can choose from Metallic Copper, Nera Black, Pearl White and Amazonite Grey exterior hues.

Peugeot Philippines is inviting customers to book a test drive at any of its dealerships. The two vehicles will also be on display at the Corte de las Palmas of Alabang Town Center until Feb. 28. For more details, check out https://www.peugeot.ph.

By Mr. Picello’s reckoning, there are now some 2,600 Peugeot owners in the Philippines. It’s no stretch to say that the new management is looking to multiply that number many times over in as short a time as possible.