Update - Motoroids reader Shubham Gawade has spotted a white board Peugeot 208 testing in Mumbai-Nashik highway.
June 2, 2017 -
PSA Group has confirmed the brand's entry in the Indian car market by 2020.
An Overdrive reader has spotted the new Peugeot 208 with red TR-C plates in Mumbai. If you've been following recent developments involving Peugeot and the Indian market, you'll know that its spotting may not be a coincidence.
The PSA Group (owner of Peugeot) has confirmed the brand's entry in the Indian car market by 2020, and have tied up with CK Birla Group for production in Tamil Nadu with the factory capacity at 100,000 units per annum. However, it's unlikely that the 208 spotted is the India-spec model on test, given that PSA Group hasn't yet established complete operations or have decided the product lineup for the Indian market.
The company plans to start selling products by the end of the decade, so it seems a bit too early to start testing prototypes. Also, the current gen 208 is nearing the end of its product cycle, making way for the next-generation model which is based on the CMP platform and due next year.
It's likely that the model could've been imported for data collection and validation, given that the driving conditions, fuel quality and road dust in India are different to markets where Peugeot has a strong presence. Or it could be a benchmark vehicle sourced by another manufacturer or OEM supplier to test components. There have been instances in the past where models not sold in India have been spied testing as benchmark vehicles.
It could also be a car in transit to a neighbour. Peugeot does have a presence in Nepal and Bangladesh, so there's a possibility that it was being driven to one of the neighbouring markets.