The new Peugeot 408 has made its world debut in Wuhan Economic & Technological Development Zone (WHDZ), also known as China’s Auto Valley. To one’s surprise, in the middle of the front face of the new 408, a new shield-shape lion logo replaces the previous standing lion cub as the brand’s image.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the founding of Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile Company LTD (DPCA). DPCA has developed together with the WHDZ in the past three decades.
On May 16, 1991, bearing the national mission of developing the automobile industry, the WHDZ officially broke ground in Wuhan’s Zhuankou. The vast deserted land has been sleeping for a long time began to wake up, and the dream of building China’s automobile capital set sail.
After more than 30 years of development, the WHDZ has transformed from a project into a city, and the annual output of automobiles has ballooned from 1,000 to one million, an increase of nearly 1,000 times, making it one of the regions with the highest concentration of automobile manufacturing industry in China.
Within less than 500 square kilometers, it has attracted 9 vehicle enterprises, 13 vehicle factories that have been built or are under construction, and more than 500 world-famous parts supporting enterprises from countries such as the United States, Britain, Japan, Germany and France. State-owned auto enterprises, new comers and emerging forces develop together in the WHDZ, elevating the region to one of the most competitive auto districts and counties in China, and the WHDZ gains the reputation of China’s Auto Valley.
In October 2002, Dongfeng Company signed a joint venture contract with France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen Group in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. As an important part of the contract, the Peugeot brand made a comeback to the Chinese market by means of establishing Peugeot. Over the years, Peugeot 206, 307, 408 and other models have entered many families, making Peugeot one of the mainstream joint venture automobile brands in China.
In particular, Peugeot 408 has been upgraded and modified for many times since its launch, with a cumulative sales volume of nearly 600,000 units in 12 years, including nearly 8,000 units exported overseas. In 2015, the 408 model was thrown into the spotlight, with annual sales exceeding 100,000 units and becoming the star model of DPCA and Peugeot.
The automobile market is always changing fast. DPCA and Peugeot have posted steady rises amid competition. In October 2020, DPCA launched a project and a campaign at the DPCA Automotive Cultural Festival. The project upgrades DPCA’s mid-term business strategy to more localized products, more accurate marketing, more reliable services and more efficient operations. The customer-focused campaign seeks to offer more quality services throughout the car purchase and use experience.
These efforts have brought changes. In 2021, Peugeot got a refresh with a new brand strategy to compete in the Chinese passenger car market again. Peugeot sold 51,000 vehicles in 2021, registering a year-on-year increase of 74 percent.
DPCA takes customer as the focus and keeps pressing ahead with innovation, which is also a solid step on the road of helping the WHDZ build China’s Auto Valley and a world-class automobile industry cluster.
To make products more localized, half a year ago, Dongfeng Citroen launched the Versailles C5 X, which became a market hit immediately. Now the new 408 has gone global from China’s Auto Valley with a bright future.