Peugeot Reducing Production of New 208 Supermini as European Sales Slow Down

The Peugeot 208 may be the French firm’s newest and hottest product and the second most popular supermini in Europe after the VW Polo, but the economic downturn in the region has put a dent in sales. A Peugeot spokesperson, who was not named, told Autonews Europe that the brand is cutting output and its sales outlook for the 208 sub-compact hatchback on weak demand in the European market, without providing any specific numbers. Over the past few days, however, there have been reports from the media saying that Peugeot has reduced its sales target for 2012 from 175,000 to 140,000 units of the 208, while a representative from the CGT union told the news site that the automaker will cut the night shift for production of the supermini at its Poisy plant in November. “The overall Europe market is weak and the second half of this year will be weaker than what was expected a few months ago,” Deutsche Bank analyst Gaetan Toulemonde told the European publication. “It is unfortunate that the car was launched at a time when the market was so weak.” The new 208 was launched in Europe this past April and has sold 74,487 units through the end of August, making it the region’s third bestselling model behind the VW Golf and VW Polo, according to data provided by JATO Dynamics. At the Paris Motor Show, Peugeot revealed the latest addition to the 208’s range, the high-performance GTi powered by a 1.6-liter turbo’d engine with 197-horses.