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Peugeot can afford its gamble

www.breakingviews.com

Launching one new model is a risky business in today's hyper-competitive European car market, as recent flops like Volkswagen's new Golf attest. So isn't PSA Peugeot Citroen taking a huge gamble launching five at the same time?

At the end of last year, The French carmaker launched the small C2 to fill the gap left by the legendary 2CV. It has just launched the 407 midsize sedan. And it is about to launch the midrange Citroen C4, the 1007 small van and the Peugeot 207, a successor to its popular small car, the 206.

There's no doubt that Peugeot is rolling the dice, updating a big chunk of its range in one go. But it had little choice, having missed out on the last updating cycle because of the need to restructure the business.

That said, its boldness may pay off. One plus point is that it isn't up against any new world-beaters. In the key small car segment, its two big rivals - VW and Renault - have both recently unveiled disappointing new models. The new cars it has launched to date have received a favourable reception.

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