Lucky Motor Company (LMC) in addition to assembling Kia, teamed up with French automaker Peugeot– which is part of Stellantis Group, to launch a range of vehicles in Pakistan.
LMC began rolling off the Peugeot 2008 crossover in December 2021 in the same facility in Karachi where it assembles other Kia cars locally. The vehicle was launched in January & was open for booking with 2 variants available– Active and Allure, priced at PKR 52.5 lac and PKR 58.5 lac respectively. The Peugeot 2008 was put on display at 8 Peugeot 3S dealerships in 6 cities across Pakistan.
A couple of months later, the company organized a huge event at its plant in Karachi where a large number of media representatives, dealers and other key personalities were invited. A test-drive experience was also provided on the same track where local assembled Kia vehicles are tested. Some say the marketing exercise was organized a couple of months after launch, since the European brand wasn’t able to receive the sort of attention the company was anticipating.
Now 6 months after Peugeot 2008 has been launched, we still get to see “sponsored content” published in across media portals, reading one gives an impression as if the car has just been introduced in the market. The European crossover is indeed impressive, the looks, drive comfort, features & build quality are far superior than most of the locally assembled lot. However it makes us wonder why Peugeot 2008 despite being launched over 6 months ago, is still “ready to make its mark” instead of already making an impact in the market.
LMC enjoyed huge success with the launch of Kia Sportage back in 2019, but it hasn’t been the case with Peugeot 2008. There are multiple reasons behind the lackluster performance of the French crossover in our market. First is the price, being a B-segment crossover with a 1.2L turbo engine under its hood, it shouldn’t be priced in the same league as the C-segment Kia Sportage. Yes LMC wants to pitch Peugeot as a premium brand, but in actuality its just like any mainstream car brand out there & perhaps the public hasn’t accepted Peugeot as a premium brand altogether.
When Kia Sportage was launched, the CEO Asif Rizvi told media that they have positioned it exactly where they wanted. At that time Sportage had no direct competitor in its class in terms of pricing and segment. However when Peugeot 2008 was introduced, the market was already flooded with dozens of crossovers & SUVs in the same price league, some with bigger dimensions, even powerful engines, and better utility on offer.
Also with ongoing tougher economic times when people have reduced their spending, majority of those who opt for a new car wants to keep their money safe in buying something that has a good resale value. Going for a European brand with no resale, require guts even for those who can afford to have multiple cars in their garages.
LMC have revised the prices of Kia cars three times within the first 4 months of this calendar year, but they have kept the prices of Kia Sorento as well as Peugeot 2008 intact, both of which aren’t selling. Despite the price retention, the Sorento as well as the 2008 are surprisingly finding it hard to leave the showroom floors.
Peugeot 2008 in Pakistan
In a market dominated by Japanese players since decades, South Korean and Chinese automakers initially faced a hard time making space. However they are now accepted by a good number of people but surely a European brand with a limited dealership & parts support network will take time to establish its place. So perhaps LMC needs to give an even harder push to market Peugeot cars in Pakistan. What is your take on the sales performance of Peugeot 2008 in our market, let us know with your comments.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com