Peugeot 408, a penultimate place in the election of the Car of the Year how is it possible?

Acclaimed by our ambassadors, much watched in the street as it passes, appreciated at the Paris Motor Show where order books have started to fill up, the Peugeot 408 is a hit, that’s for sure! Its overall package is more than correct, on paper it had serious advantages. However, last week during the election of the European Car of the Year 2023, the results of which were announced from the Brussels Motor Show, the Peugeot 408 finished second to last in the ranking.

Just ahead of the Toyota bZ4x / Subaru Solterra twins with just 149 points and behind the Renault Austral with 163 points. For the record, the winning Jeep Avenger this year totaled 328.

The Peugeot 408 is just a “big” 308?

In 2022, the Peugeot 308 finished fourth in the European Car of the Year election.© Peugeot

The jurors considered it to be a big Peugeot 308, which in absolute terms is not false. Indeed, the P51 (308 saloon), P52 (308 SW) and P54 (408) programs were carried out jointly on a common technical base. This is also perfectly visible at the level of the dashboard shared by the 308 and 408.

Therefore, in the wake of the Peugeot 308 which finished in fourth place last year, its big sister Peugeot 408 could not have hoped for better. It is only in Spain where the Peugeot won the bet with the dominance of all the votes of the voting jurors ensuring it a first place locally. But on a European scale, this was not enough. Its spectacular side and the official speech already providing for the after SUV has not had its effect.

Did he miss a Peugeot e-408?

Among the 7 finalists (the Toyota / Subaru duo only counts for one model), 5 are 100% electric or already have a fully watted version like the Kia Niro. This was not the case with the Peugeot 408 (nor the Renault Austral for that matter). Indeed, the battery version, Peugeot e-408 is not expected on the market until 2024. If the lion brand had launched its Peugeot e-408 at the same time as the petrol and plug-in hybrid versions, would its place on the podium have been assured? The lion’s strategists may be biting their fingers, especially since this situation is identical for the Peugeot e-308 which will only arrive later this year, i.e. almost two years after the launch of the 308.

Victory is not necessarily the prelude to a great career

The Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV won the 2019 Car of the Year award.
The Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV won the 2019 Car of the Year award.©Jaguar

Winning this prestigious election is obviously a plus for the brand, which does not hesitate to communicate on this subject. However, this is not the guarantee of guaranteed commercial success. Witness all the generations of Volkswagen Golf which apart from the third of the crowned name in 1992, all missed the victory (by little it is true) and despite everything made more than honorable careers with an undisputed place of market leader in Europe.

Ditto for the Peugeot 206 which finished on the third step in 1999. Conversely, an Opel Astra elected in 2016, an Opel Ampera crowned in 2012 and even a Jaguar I-Pace winner in 2019 did not know glory and remained at the bottom of the ranking.

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