Peugeot takes on Toyota with eco cars

Peugeot is taking on Toyota with the launch of its first hybrid car in the autumn as the company looks to bolster its credentials as a green manufacturer.

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The 3008 HYbrid4 and recently launched iOn, which Peugeot claims is the first 100% electric car on the market, will be the French brand’s two “flagship” models as it looks to exploit growing demand for green vehicles.

UK marketing director Christian Stein says that Peugeot is “striking back” against rival Toyota’s Prius hybrid vehicle, which has become the benchmark for eco-cars.

“We were green before it was fashionable but slipped behind in terms of flagship models. Now iOn and HYbrid4 will be our flagship models,” he says.

Toyota sold 56% of all hybrid vehicles in the UK in 2009, according to Datamonitor. Honda, which makes the Insight hybrid model, was second with 25% of the UK market.

Peugeot will run an ad campaign to promote iOn next month, and says it will act as a “brand statement model” for the company’s green credentials.

HYbrid4, a diesel/electric hybrid which produces 99g CO2/km, will launch in the autumn.

European lawmakers have forced the motor industry to lower average CO2 emissions from new cars to 130g/km by 2015. In January the average was 141.5g/km, down from 144.2g/km in 2010.

Stein adds: “[The motor industry] needs to find a green solution. Electric is misunderstood, but it’s just one strand of what we’re looking at.

“There isn’t one technology for the future of green mobility to suit the needs of different consumers. It’s a jigsaw.”

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