Peugeot is recommencing small volume shipments of European-assembled models to Hong Kong and Macau to stimulate interest for imported models in what it considers a showcase market for the wider Chinese region.
The carmaker, which began sales of European models there in 2003 but hasn’t exported since 2009, has maintained service parts and aftermarket distribution for customers in Hong Kong. It also manufactures vehicles in China as part of a PSA joint venture with Chang’an Automobile Group in Shenzen and with Dongfeng Motor, which is opening its third plant in Wuhan next year. PSA has a second joint venture with Chang’an for the production of the Citroën DS line of vehicles.
But according to Asia sales manager for Peugeot-Citroën, Eric Mougin, the return to the market with three new Europe models is about promoting its premium European models in the region.
“The value of the being there is more from a quality point for view,” he told Automotive Logistics News, as sales are currently forecast to average around 300 per annum meaning low volumes. But the interest generated in the Chinese market could reap further benefits.
 “It is a showcase for China. As with Singapore, it is a territory where we need to be as a worldwide brand because it is like a showroom for many Chinese and we have customers there so we can continue to sell cars,” said Mougin.
Peugeot has signed a new three-year contract with Malaysian distributor, Sime Darby, a major industrial player in the region which handles car distribution as part of its wider portfolio. Peugeot linked up with Sime Darby for Hong Kong distribution in 2003 and has also used the company for distribution in Australia and New Zealand.
 The carmaker will sell the 3008 SUV crossover, the 5008 MPV and the RCZ sportscar, and opened a new showroom in Hong Kong a few weeks ago to do so.
 “We are convinced that the range we provide now is what Hong Kong needs,” added Mougin. He went on to say that the company needed to be there to show the Chinese people the products Peugeot built in Europe.
“They know about the models we produce in China but not so much about the imported car. As long as we can talk about our French products we will never hesitate,” he added.
All three models are coming from European branches, either from France, or in the case of the RCZ from the Graz factory in Austria, assembled under contract by Magna Steyr.
Mougin said Peugeot was taking responsibility for the shipment of the car to Hong Kong with Gefco for movement of the cars to the port of Antwerp. It is working closely with Hoegh Autoliners for ocean forwarding to Hong Kong and Macau.
 “We are working with them very closely with them because logistics is a key role [and we want to] ensure that the vehicles arrive in time and have enough space on the vessel to go there,” said Mougin.