Sat, 12 Mar 2005

Astra France Motor launches Peugeot 407

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

PT Astra France Motor has launched its latest product, the Peugeot 407, aimed at changing executives' perception on comfort and safety of a sedan for that particular segment.

"The launch also sets a new benchmark for sedans for executives who are active, aggressive, dynamic, modern and trendy," said company president director Wiwiek D. Santoso on Thursday.

The 2,000cc car, which was launched in its origin country of France last April, will compete with medium-sized sedans made by other premium carmakers such as the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4.

"The last two years have been a very difficult period for European car producers, who were hit badly by the strengthening euro, which strengthened 42 percent against the U.S. dollar," Wiwiek said.

"However, the Peugeot 407 has received a positive response in Europe since it was launched. And we believe that the car will also get a similar response here," she added.

Last year, Peugeot sold 2,027,000 cars, both sedans and other vehicles, worldwide. Compared to 2003's sales figure of 1,913,624 vehicles, Peugeot improved its sales by 5.9 percent, with 44 percent of the market in western Europe, 22 percent in France and the remaining 34 percent in the rest of the world.

Peugeot general director for ASEAN countries Dominique Monet said the French carmaker would only be able to supply around 200 of the new model monthly to the regional market.

"The demand in Europe alone has been very high. But, if the response of the market here is positive, I will ask the principal to raise the supply to around 300 cars in the region per month," he said.

The completely built-up car is being offered at Rp 419 million (US$44,837) on the road, but due to limited supply from France, interested customers must wait for between two and three months for delivery.

Astra France Motor sales operation manager Mukiat Sutikno said customers could also order the 3,000cc version at a price of Rp 586 million on the road. "But, they must wait for up to five months to get the car."