MBf-Peugeot Sdn Bhd, the importer and distributor of Peugeot vehicles in Malaysia, has begun sales of Peugeot’s best-selling model, the 206. Officially launched today, the stylish hatchback is priced at RM83,593.20 (inclusive of insurance), an attractive price for a car which is imported Completely Built-Up (CBU) from Peugeot’s factory in UK.
“The rapid recovery of our economy and clear signs of positive growth has encouraged us to begin sales of the 206 in Malaysia,” said Yeow Ewe Hor, President of MBf-Peugeot. “It has been extremely successful in in every country where it has been introduced and we are sure that the same success will be evident in Malaysia.”
The version which is being imported is the 206 XR 1.4 Automatic with the ‘Presence’ equipment level and a 5-door bodystyle. Mr Yeow said that this version was considered the most appropriate for the Malaysian market but did not rule out the possibility of other versions like the sporty 206 S16, if there was demand from customers.
The company has no firm numbers for the volume it will sell this year but expects the figure to be around 100 units. At present, the cars are being imported in small batches and due to strong demand all over the world, there is likely to be a wait of ‘a few months’ for those who order now, revealed Mr Yeow.
“Obviously we are not competing against the national cars and we are aiming to attract those who want something different and special, and who prefer imported models. The standard equipment we have put in is, we believe, great value for money and we are sure our buyers will agree,” he said.
The strong demand worldwide was confirmed by Frederic Banzet, Peugeot’s Director of International Operations (Asia-Pacific region) who said that some 551,000 units of the 206 were sold in 1999 and Peugeot is trying to meet growing demand by increasing output to 700,000 units this year.
“The car has far exceeded our original expectations and surpassed the success of our previous bestseller, the 205,” he told AUTOWORLD.COM.MY. “It is now being produced in four factories – two in France and one each in Britain and Argentina – and we will be expanding production at our plant in Brazil at the end of this year. As our bestselling model, the 206 now accounts for around 20% of all new Peugeots sold worldwide.”
For the time being, the 206 will be sold as a CBU import in Malaysia but in the medium-term, it is possible that the model may also be locally assembled alongside the 306 and 406 models. Mr Banzet said that an assembly programme does exist for the Argentina plant but if the 206 is to be locally assembled in Malaysia, it would not be before the end of 2001.
“It all depends on how strong demand is and whether it will be justified to assemble the car locally, so we can’t say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the matter at this time,” added Mr Yeow.