Spurred on by the success of the Renault Nissan Alliance’s Dacia brand, rumours persist that Talbot could re-emerge as a starter brand for Peugeot, possibly as a Chinese assembled product. Speaking at the Geneva Motor Show, PSA Peugeot Citroen SA’s Marques Director, Jean-Marc Gales, was reported as saying that the company had begun ‘studying the question for Europe.’ He added: ‘One thing is for sure it will neither be a Peugeot, nor a Citroen.’
Automotive Industry pundits are speculating that PSA Peugeot Citroen’s new Dacia-rivalling entry-level brand might be either a re-born Simca or Talbot. The company has kept strong tabs on its dormant brand portfolio with both of those monikers being heavily registered in a similar vein to the BMW Group’s ownership of British Leyland legacy marques such as Riley and Triumph.
However, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has confirmed that, while Simca has legal protection as a trademark across five Continents, Talbot’s name and logo have only local legal recognition.
PSA Peugeot Citroen has recently completed a JV with a major Chinese OEM, Chongqing Changan Automobile Company Limited, and that must, at least, raise the prospect of the mooted new entry-level brand’s products being assembled in China.
Interestingly, Gales also suggested that PSA Peugeot Citroen might dispense with a Dealer Network if the company eventually decided to go ahead and launch the new brand of low-cost vehicles and could simply rely on the Internet as its key sales and marketing tool.
Rootes Group historians will recall that the Ryton-built Peugeot 309 model was almost born as the Talbot Arizona (above), so could we be looking at a new Horizon any time soon?
[Editor’s Note: AROnline readers wishing to know more about PSA Peugeot Citroen’s current thinking on a new, entry-level brand should take a look at this article: MOTOR SHOW: Peugeot may spurn Dealers to sell low-cost brand, David Pearson (Dow Jones Newswires), Automated Trader.net, 1st March, 2011. Renault SA has wasted no time in responding to that news. See: Renault plans online sales to fight Peugeot low-cost offers, Laurence Frost, Bloomberg News, 3rd March, 2011.]