We may not be huge consumers of compact saloons in the UK, but China loves them — and Peugeot is preparing a 308 saloon, scooped in these spy shots.
We got the Peugeot 306 saloon here in the 1990s and occasionally you see someone who has chosen the Ford Focus saloon over the hatch, but we generally prefer five doors to four in this sector, so few manufacturers bother with notch backed versions for the UK. The Chinese have different tastes, however, and saloons are the big sellers over there — its the Volkswagen Jetta that was the fourth best selling car in China last year, not the hatchback Golf equivalent that Europe loves.
So the French manufacturer is preparing a saloon version of the compact family hatch 308 for that market, which saw 13.76 million cars bought last year, pushing it to the largest car market in the world (the US bought only 10.4 million cars and light trucks last year, the lowest level in 27 years).
Peugeots are manufactured in China under a joint venture with local company Dongfeng Motor Corporation, as is required by law. Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile has produced the 206, 207, 307 and 408 locally, but the range is being updated — as well as the 308 saloon you see here, the 508 executive saloon is expected to start local production later this year. Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen sold 376,000 cars in China last year.
The 308 saloon is not expected to go on sale in the UK.