On November the 12th, the three millionth Peugeot 206 rolled off the production line at the French manufacturing plant in Mulhouse, just four years after its launch.
Now Europe?s best selling car, the Peugeot 206 first went on sale in France in the European summer of 1998, and hit Australian dealer showrooms in 1999. Launched originally in a three and a five-door format, the 206 quickly became the small car to own, and is the fastest selling Peugeot vehicle ever to have been launched ? even beating the highly popular 306.
Building on its success, Peugeot added to the range with the stylish 206 Coup? Cabriolet in December 2000, and the 206 SW which is set to go on sale in Australia in mid 2003. Peugeot will be further adding to the range with the introduction of its ?pocket rocket? - the Peugeot 206 GTi 180, with 180bhp (133kW), which should also arrive mid next year.
World rally domination
The 206 has in recent years dominated the world rally stage, with Finnish driver Marcus Gr?nholm already triumphant in the 2002 World Rally Championship, and Peugeot winning the manufacturer?s title for an impressive third consecutive year*. In Australia, Gr?nholm secured his fifth victory of the season, while Harri Rovanper??s second place saw the Peugeot team score its ninth maximum points haul of the year.
Just as popular around the world as in France, the 206 is sold in 121 countries. In Europe, the 206 is number one in the market with sales of 413,954 units and a 4.2% market share in 2002, overtaking the VW Golf which is now in second place with 4.1% of the market. France is its largest market, with Britain in second place. It is built at Poissy and Mulhouse in France as well as in the UK, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Iran.
In Australia, 1691 206?s have been sold year to date, compared to only 1210 for the same period in 2001. This figure does not include the 725 206 CC?s that have found homes with customers so far this year.
* Subject to the official publication of the results by the F.I.A.