By Theodore Opara
PAN Nigeria Limited, assemblers of Peugeot brand of vehicles in Nigeria has introduced the all-new Peugeot Pickup into the market.
The pickup has the Peugeot DNA in abundance and has set new standard in the one tonne Pickup segment in terms of ground clearance, space, comfort and overall performance.
Though the Peugeot Pickup is available with a 2.5 litre diesel engine, it delivers exceptional power both on-road and off-road with unmarched cabin quietness.
The unveiling of the new Peugeot Pickup was held at NAF Conference Centre and Suites, Abuja, 13 years after the last Peugeot 504 rolled out from the Peugeot plant in Kaduna. Present at the launch were invitees from the Police, Army, Immigration, Prisons, Financial institution, as well as Federal and State governments
Most of the guests at the unveiling were excited by the complete repackaging of the Peugeot Pickup which is coming as a double cabin for the first time, yet with large cargo space and ground clearance. The price of all new Peugeot Pickup was also an attraction to many as it starts from N9.5 million which is half the price of competing models.
Speaking to Vanguard Motoring shortly after the unveiling and test drive, the elated Managing Director of PAN Nigeria, Mr. Ibrahim Boyi said he was particularly happy that PAN has returned to the Pickup segment with best in class product that is yet very affordable.
He said, “we have brought a pickup that would rule the Nigerian pickup market again. A pickup that will compete and take its pride of place in the market.”
The managing director further noted that the new pickup, like its predecessors, the 404 and 504 Pickups, will be accepted by Nigeria as they hope to take 50 per cent of the Nigerian Pickup vehicle segment in no time.
Highlighting the new Pickup selling points, the managing director said that the new pickup has Peugeot DNA, while the brand is known and trusted in Nigeria. In addition to these, he said the new pickup has a simple technology as it is very easy to run and almost trouble free with low maintenance cost.
With all these qualities and price advantage the managing director said “we are coming back to take our number one position in this segment. We have always been the market leader and there is nothing wrong in coming to take back our position with an excellent product like the all-new Pickup.”
Mr. Boyi further unfolded their plans to rule the market again. “We will soon be opening up new dealer outlets which will be complemented with very significant and massive product campaign across the country.” He said the company has alrady identified very key partners that it intends to work with especially in Lagos and other parts of the country.
The managing director did not see the diesel engine of the Pickup as a drawback, rather he said that diesel engines boasts more pulling power, economy and efficiency, noting that Peugeot has not ruled out the introduction of petrol versions in the near future.
According to him, diesel is accepted all over the world as a cheaper and more economical fuel for automobiles, adding that the Peugeot Pickup engine has been tuned to take our quality of diesel without problems. The engine is also very quiet even with the diesel power plant.
Meanwhile, the Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council, NADDC, Mr. Aliyu Jelani, who was among the dignitaries at the unveiling thumbed up for the new Pickup, describing it as a workhorse that would add value to the users businesses.
Mr. Jelani after the formal unveiling of the Pickup with other dignitaries took the vehicle on a test drive for more than an hour.
His verdict on the car was “Peugeot has designed a Pickup that will deliver excellently both on and off-road. The Pickup takes rough terrain without look back and even the occupant hardly feel that they are going on rough terrain.
He also commended the ground clearance, cargo space and overall performance of the Pickup.
The Managing Director attributed the large number of customers, that graced the occasion as an indication of the emotional attachment that Nigerians have for the Peugoet brand and the Pickup in particular.
They are happy that their darling Pickup is back and better, hence they are here to see things for themselves and have a feel of this new machine in town.