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Peugeot believes that its 2008 has the right ingredients to become the best selling B segment crossover, certainly outselling Renault Captur and taking customers away from Nissan Juke.

The 2008 goes on sale in Europe from May 16 and arrives in the UK by mid-July, priced from £12,995 to around £19,000.

All 2008s for Europe will be built in Mulhouse, Peugeot's industrial heartland in eastern France, which has the capacity to build 100,000 a year. It will also be built in China and Brazil from 2015, each at around 50,000 a year; 67 per cent of the components used on 2008 are carried over from 208.

Globally Peugeot will be building 650,000 208 and 2008 models a year, described by Marc Bocqué, marketing communications manager, as "a significant number."

While the B segment is dominated by hatchbacks with an 80 per cent share, their popularity is beginning to wane with the emergence of MPVs and SUVs; estate cars account for about five per cent of the sector total.

The appeal of crossovers like 2008 and Captur is that they give the impression of being in a higher segment and most buyers will be existing B segment customers, according to Peugeot.

Renault has gone down the personalization route with Captur while Peugeot has concentrated on "style and quality," said Bocqué - adding "it will be a battle between us and Renault for sector leadership."

For the UK, the target is 8,000 annual sales, taking total 208/2008 sales to some 50,000 a year. The 2008's versatility is expected to appeal to business users with a prediction that more than 40 per cent of sales will be to fleet users - the 207SW was predominantly sold to businesses with less than 30 per cent bought privately.

The 2008 will also have a major role in attracting new buyers to the Peugeot brand with the UK forecasting that 65 per cent of 2008 buyers will be buying a Peugeot for the first time.

The UK range will start with a choice of 1.2-litre and 1.6-litre petrol engine and 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre diesel engines with the best-seller predicted to be the 92bhp 1.6-litre diesel.

There will be four trim levels, Access+, Active, Allure and Feline with ""˜grip control' available on all Feline models and Allure models with 1.6-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel engines.

Grip control combines slightly increased ground clearance with ""˜mud and snow' tyres and a traction control system which operates in snow, all-terrain and sand modes to limit skidding and provide maximum torque to the wheel with most grip.
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