Peugeot Australia is looking into offering the people mover version of its smaller Partner van, which would give the French brand a direct competitor to the Volkswagen Caddy.
The Peugeot Rifter is the passenger version of the Partner, based on the same platform as the latest Citroen Berlingo – a long-running van that is no longer sold in Australia – as well as the Opel/Vauxhall Combo, and the Toyota ProAce sold in Europe and the UK.
At the recent launch of the new Peugeot 308 Hatch and Wagon, managing director for Peugeot Citroen Australia, Kate Gillis, told media the compact MPV is not a sure-fire starter for our market, but it’s under consideration.
“We’re always looking at what’s being developed and seeing whether it’s right for our market. So it’s definitely not a no, and at this point it’s still under consideration,” Ms Gillis said.
“There’s definitely opportunity for for something like that within this market. But we need to go through the right level of due diligence and consideration but you know, it’s there.”
“It’s a very successful vehicle for Peugeot, and it’s had a little bit of a makeover which makes it even more enticing,” Ms Gillis added.
While not mentioned during the media conference, the Rifter also offers an all-electric version called the e-Rifter. Should the standard version be considered, you have to think the EV model is on the cards as well.
Peugeot Australia has made no secret of its intentions to offer up to three all-electric models in 2023, starting with a commercial vehicle, then moving into the passenger and SUV segments. While not confirmed, the aim is to have all three on the market by the end of next year.
While Ms Gillis wouldn’t be drawn to revealing which models in the global portfolio will fit into each of these three slots, the commercial vehicle will either be the e-Partner, e-Expert, or e-Boxer van.
Since the Partner and Rifter are basically one and the same with different interiors, you can see how the Rifter and e-Rifter are a logical next step.
Peugeot also does a passenger version of the Expert van called the Traveller, which additionally offers an all-electric e-Traveller variant.
The passenger and SUV slots, meanwhile, are likely to be filled by the e-208 EV city hatch as well as the e-2008 small crossover. Peugeot Australia is also looking into bringing the recently revealed e-308 Down Under.
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