Peugeot aiming to boost profits by creating upscale niche models

Article by Christian A., on August 26, 2010

To increase profits, Peugeot will be developing upscale niche models from volume platforms. One prime example of this strategy is the sporty RCZ, a 2+2 coupe that resembles the Audi TT.

The RCZ is based on a re-engineered application of the PSA/Peugeot-Citroen's mid-sized platform that underpins cars such as the 308 compact hatchback and Citroen C4 as well.

Magna Steyr, which is based in Austria, is the manufacturer of the RCZ. Magna Steyr, a unit of Magna International Inc., made its contribution to the car's engineering. 

The unit was awarded the production contract from rival contract manufacturers Heuliez of France, Finland's Valmet, Karmann of Germany and Italy's Pininfarina. Both Peugeot and sister brand Citroen are latching onto this trend of designing near-premium cars. Carmakers are doing this to generate extra revenue and higher margins by providing upscale niche models on mass-market platforms.

Peugeot will focus on exclusive limited-edition models while Citroen is preparing to launch the DS range. The RCZ is Peugeot's first limited-edition model line.

In an interview with Automotive News Europe last month, PSA brand boss Jean-Marc Gales said that Peugeot's second limited-edition car will be a station wagon variant of the single model that will replace the 407 and 607.

 This new model is slated to debut in 2011. A third low-volume car is expected in 2012, but details have not yet been made available. [via autonews - sub. required]

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