President's Report - June 2009
Over the last 30 years Australia has missed out on a number of Peugeot models including the 104, 106, 107, 305, 309, 806, 807, 1007 and 4007, although occasional examples have come as private imports. OK, so who cares about the 309? It was sold in New Zealand when I lived there in the 1980s, but it was a very disappointing car, barely a Pug because it was built in England and, unlike other Pugs of the era, it was not designed by Pininfarina. So it was with some interest that I recently read an article on the new Peugeot 5008 "people mover" in the motoring section of the Canberra Times. According to the CT story, the 5008 will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September and go on sale in Great Britain early next year.
Peugeot Australia is apparently assessing the cars' viability for local sale, but has yet to make a decision on whether it will be added to the Australian Pug fleet. In the tradition of the 505 Familiale, the 5008 is also a seven seater, but with a clever flat-folding rear seat arrangement that allows all the rear seats to be folded down to effectively transform the car into a delivery van. Come to think of it, Peugeot also did clever things with seats in the 404 and 403 sedans - the so-called "camping body" allowed the front seats to be laid flat to create a bed-like space that included the back seat. I have made good use of this configuration on more than one occasion while on long trips. While I'm not lining up to buy a 5008 myself, I'm sure that it could sell well here, given the popularity and versatility of the "people mover" style of vehicle. We shall see.
Regardless of model, all Peugeot owners (and indeed all French car owners) are invited to face the British in the annual Battle of Waterloo car exhibition to be held on the lawns of Old Parliament House on Sunday 21 June from 10 am to 3 pm. As usual the French forces will be led into battle by Napoleon himself. BBQ delights will be on sale at the club marquee. There will also be hot coffee, a Wellington boot throwing competition and several participant prizes.
Also, don't forget the monthly club meeting at the Canberra Services Club on Tuesday 23 June at 8 pm. Come along and enjoy the warmth of an open fire with dinner from 7 pm, before the meeting. I strongly urge all club members to attend.
Keep on Pugging,