At the Beijing motor show today Peugeot's boss Maxime Picat told us in no uncertain terms that he has no plans to turn his company into a luxury brand. Not even in China.

"We are not BMW or Mercedes," he said. "We want to be first of the generalists."

You could be forgiven for thinking otherwise if you even get the chance to see the Peugeot Exalt concept in the metal. Especially if you contrast it with the BMW luxury saloon concept also on display at today's Chinese motor show.

What is the difference in quality, intent, or desirability I was wondering. By the way, I don't dislike the BMW at all – it shows the next 7-series will look smart. But the point is that they seem similar – in fact, I was more impressed by the Peugeot if anything.

Then again, Picat's level of ambition is entirely correct. But it does prove how the 'mainstream' makers could catch up. And how much harder prestige brands may have to work in the future to keep them at bay.