India - भारत में Peugeot 309

PAL-Peugeot Ltd, the joint venture company between French car maker Automobile Peugeot and Premier Automobiles, has withdrawn Peugeot 309 model from the Indian market. The company decision follows the French partner’s decision to stop supply of CKDs of the 309 model to India.

With this, sales and production of the French model will stop henceforth, officials say adding that the JV company will continue to produce the petrol and diesel versions of Premier 118 NE model. Due to lack of demand for its products, the production cycle at the company’s Kalyan plant has been reduced to four days a week on a single shift basis. The company is now able to produce only two-three 118 NEs per day, officials said.

During the formation of the JV, Peugeot had introduced the 309 model to India, while Premier had transferred its 118 NE model to the new company. However, despite the initial euphoria, the French car failed to make any dent into the Indian market, which was, hitherto, dominated byMaruti’s Esteem. The launch of 309 model in the premium segment, where the American car giants, subsequently introduced their models further compounded the problem of the company.

As the auto boom in the country went bust in 1996, Peugeot’s high priced model was the first casualty. Other models in the same segment like General Motors’ Opel, Daewoo’s Cielo and, Ford’s Escort are also facing demand contraction.

In fact, in order to generate demand, Daewoo took a strategic step to reduce the price of its Cielo model by Rs 1.8 lakh. While due to high volumes and indeginisation, Maruti’s Esteem continued to dominate the premium segment.

Pal-Peugeot’s move to withdraw the 309 model from India will put thousands of Peugeot 309 owners in a tizzy, though the French car maker has assured supplies of the spare parts. However, after sales service of the company will remain a major concern as few engineers are trained to take care of 309 model. Besides, all those who have booked the car in the past, will have nooption, but to go for other model. Already the company has faced substantial cancellations to the tune of 50 per cent.

Copyright © 1998 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.

Japan - 日本のプジョー309

Believe it or not, the Peugeot 309 was not sold in European countries only. No, far from that, it actually travelled thousands of kilometers on boats. We’ve already seen that the Peugeot 309 was launched in India, but it was also launched in Japan.
In Japan, the Peugeot 309 was launched only in 1987, with th GTI model (3 door left hand drive model with manual gearbox) so the Peugeot 309 MKI was launched in Japan, but the few models that were sold were just imported from Europe. With the MKII launch, Peugeot sold both left hand drive and right hand drive GTI models, but they were equipped with a different engine (XU9JAZ with manual gearbox and XU9J1 with automatic gearbox).
There were three Peugeot 309 models: the Peugeot 309 SI, Blanche and GTI. The first one was launched on October 1990 as a 5 door model only. The car was fitted with the 1905cc engine (XU9J1) developing 100hp. The car was only available with the automatic gearbox and customers could choose among three colours: Black, Graphite Grey and Cherry Red. It was priced ¥2,450,000 (approximately €16,200). The Peugeot 309 GTI was officialy launched on November 1987 as a 3 door model available in Black, Graphite Grey, Cherry Red and metallic Magnum Grey. It was sold ¥2,810,000 (approximately €18,540), and was fitted with a manual gearbox and developped 120hp (only LHD). As the LHD GTI models were successful, on October 1990 Peugeot sold another version of the Peugeot 309 GTI, which was RHD and was fitted with an automatic gearbox. The car was priced at ¥3,150,000 (approximately €20,810) and was again a 3 door model. The metallic Magnum Grey colour disappeared. 5 door models were imported from Europe (LHD) and were sold at a higher price. The last Japanese model was the Peugeot 309 Blanche or ブロンシュ (‘Buronshiyu’, which is in fact the Japanese pronounciation of the French word ‘Blanche’, which means white). The car first appeared on August 1992 and was sold at the same price as the SI model.
The Peugeot 309 was launched in Japan in 1987 and was withdrawn on December 1993.
Unfortunately the car’s most dangerous rival was the Peugeot 205 GTI itself which had a huge success among car magazines. All models had air conditioning as standard.

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