Peugeot has ruled out a possible tie-up with the Toyota Hilux to deliver a ute – but it is about to launch a joint venture pick-up built by China’s ChangAn for Latin America and the Middle East.
The French and Japanese car giants have jointly developed two generations of the Citroen C1, Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo small cars since 2005, however that partnership is due to end in 2021.
The ChangAn version is due to go into production in 2020 and the Peugeot version is expected to follow in 2021.
The Peugeot version of the ChangAn ute will be sold in addition to the Peugeot version of the Nissan Navara D22 launched in Africa in 2017, pictured below.
However, neither Peugeot ute will be sold in Australia because they don’t meet local safety and emissions standards.
“Peugeot is very interested in pick-ups,” said the global boss of the Peugeot brand, Jean-Philippe Imparato, in a meeting with media in Sydney this week. “We will have a pick-up offer in the coming months to cover certain markets, especially Latin America and the Middle East.”
“At the moment (the Peugeot utes) do not match the Australian requirement in terms of features and regulation,” he said.
The executive did not rule out the possibility of a Peugeot ute being sold in Australia one day, although it would likely be at least a decade from now given the long model cycles of pick-ups.
Mr Imparato said Peugeot first had a pick-up in 1946 and the company has had car-derived utes at various times throughout its history.
“In 1946 a pick-up was launched by Peugeot and 60 years after I’m not any more in this market,” he said. “If we learn in the right way, if we have the right result, perhaps we will see (other markets). But first we must learn because this is a specific product. I want to be humble. Let’s start with something that is affordable for some destinations. Having learned, we will see.”
The Peugeot-Citroen group has had a partnership with ChangAn since 2010 and the Chinese affiliate has built certain China-specific Citroen passenger cars since 2014.
It is not clear if ChangAn will manufacture the Peugeot pick-up in China or if the vehicle will be a CKD assembly in Latin America.
In January 2019 a statement from ChangAn said of the Peugeot ute partnership: “This first common development for a new generation of pick-up is a great opportunity for both companies to reach the markets in China and abroad. It is an important milestone in a long-term cooperation between (Peugeot-Citroen) and ChangAn.”