Graffiti artists, presenters from Channel 4’s T4, X Factor contestants – it was not difficult to see the youthful message Peugeot was trying to project when the BB1 concept came to town this week. On the surface the BB1 is a two-door four-seater electric car, measuring 2.5 metres long and with a useful electric range of 75 miles. But what it really represents is a new dawn for Peugeot, especially in the UK.
The car was in London’s Covent Garden at the swanky Hospital Club as part of a tour of a number of different capitals, such as Berlin recently, in a bid to gauge reaction, which could ultimately make or break it as a production car. Speaking with a youthful Jon Goodman, managing director of Peugeot UK, it sounded like the car had a good chance of reaching the showrooms.
Peugeot BB1 launched at the Frankfurt show “We had a really good reaction in Berlin,” he said, “and it is hugely positive here. The BB1 is not just an obscure concept that definitely won’t happen.” But what was interesting was how much effort Peugeot is putting into rejuvenating the brand in both the eyes of the general public and the press.
“For the last four or five years we have been moving backwards in the UK,” added Goodman, “we got sucked into selling cars cheaply and not working out what people really wanted to buy.” Now Peugeot wants to improve its standing in the UK, with targets to increase sales next year, and also establish itself further in emerging markets such as China and Russia. Peugeot is 200 years old next year, if it plays its cards right with this next move then it looks like it will be around a lot longer.