Interview with Linda Jackson (Peugeot): “Virtue is in the middle (on the market)”

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Weekends i 6 hours Monza scored two debuts for Peugeotit off 9X8 on the field and that of 408shown for the first time to the public in a parade that preceded the Italian part of it World endurance. He also took part in the race Linda Jackson, CEO of Casa del Leone, with whom we had the opportunity to talk about the brand’s future and the significance of this double debut. The one of the 9X8 on the Brianza circuit is aimed at collecting data according to the 2023 championship when the challenge between the hypercars in the LMH category comes alive. “We’re here to gain experience and to see the team at work for the first time,” Jackson explains. “And it’s nice to have 9X8 and 408 here together, because they have a strong bond: design. Matthias Hossann, our style director, worked with colleagues from Peugeot Sport to define the line of the race car, which tells a lot about the upcoming models. And that underlines how important style is for Peugeot ”.

What do you expect from returning to the Endurance World Championship?
We decided to return first and foremost because we have a long history, a tradition that needed to be revived because we are passionate about motorsport and we want to win again. The other basic thing is technological development: running is an extraordinary laboratory to test the hybrid and electrical solutions that we will use on production cars. Furthermore, competitions are a powerful vector to increase the brand’s visibility in the world, to promote its technology, style, reliability and make Peugeot speak in many countries. For example, next year we will be in Japan, a very important country for us.


In a world where range is shrinking in the name of rationalization, Peugeot with the 408 has chosen to expand its offering …
“Our range today is very efficient and rational. We are present in the segments B, B Suv, C, C Suv and D. 408 is another possibility: it is a C-segment, but it is not a sedan, it is not an SUV, it is a combination that could attract customers arriving from SUVs and looking for something else. Or motorists who drive a large sedan and want a car a little less impressive, or even those who own an average and are looking for more space. We want to seize all the opportunities in a segment that is the most interesting in terms of volume and profit. Today we can not afford unprofitable cars: I love the convertible, for example, but we do not make them anymore ”.

Are the SUVs, which have given the brand great satisfaction, with the 2008 and especially the 3008 therefore a turning point?
“The era of SUVs will last a long time. Drivers love them for their elevated driving position, which gives them safety, and for their modularity. However, the limitations on CO2 do not make them optimal in terms of efficiency. For this reason, the development representing 408, interesting: it retains certain characteristics of the SUVs and develops its line.But more than in the outer lines, it will be in the interior we will see the great innovations, especially with the spread of electric: there is so much more space , there is greater freedom for designers and designers, and you can imagine many more things on board. of those we have today “.

How do you rate the call for heat engines from 2035?
“Electricity is the solution that the EU has chosen: We are working well in this direction and we are well advanced because 80% of our models are already available with an electrified version. But there are stages where one can approach the 2035 deadline, with mild and plug-in hybrids, bridging technologies for the transition. I do not know if pure electric will be the only solution: we test hydrogen on heavy vehicles, for example. This does not mean that we want it on cars, but that many roads are still open. The real problems to face are two: Do ​​we want the infrastructure to recharge all these cars? And best of all: Electric cars are expensive. Will people who drive thermally today be able to buy them? Especially in the first question, the houses can not do much.

2022-Peugeot-9x8-01

Many manufacturers would have taken a few more years to let hybrid technology complete its life cycle and allow for more affordable electric car solutions for longer. Agree?
“You may have five more years, but in the end the most important thing is to have a specific date. Whether it’s 2035 or 2040, it’s key to have a clear perspective, because manufacturers have to develop the models, and that requires three to four. years of work.We are driven by the need to comply with the rules: we have no other choice.

How much does the microchip crisis affect you, and what prospects do you see at the end of this emergency?
The lack of semiconductors has consequences, and the market is proving it. We are acting on several fronts. First of all, we try to get as many supplies as possible, which means we have moved the availability of the ones we have, from one day to the next and from one model to another, and try to be as agile as possible to have the processors where they are needed. Looking at the medium term, we are working on engineering work and trying to reduce their presence on cars by combining their features to be more efficient. And in a longer perspective, we are working on the supply chain to make it more direct through partnerships, such as that with Foxconn, and on the factories to produce them. The situation has been going on for two years now, and we know that many suppliers are investing to increase production capacity, an operation that will take a few years: In light of this, 2023 could be the crucial year to get out of this situation. In the meantime, we’re trying to be agile, especially in protecting models at launch, such as the 308.

What are you waiting for after 408?
408 has just been unveiled and we will focus strongly on that at the beginning of next year. We are constantly trying to have new launches (of course we will see 3008 and 308 Crossback, ed) and regular updates of our models and powertrains. We have several projects we are working on: 2023 will be a rich year for us.

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