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Peugeot wants to build 301 in SA

Peugeot South Africa has announced its intention to build the 301 compact sedan in South Africa, in a move that would see the country being the world's sole producer of right-hand drive 301 models.

However, Peugeot is at this stage not looking at setting up a dedicated production facility in the country, instead it'll be seeking to outsource production to one of the existing local manufacturers, according to a local spokesperson.

The Peugeot 301 is a compact sedan that offers generous interior space.

Peugeot has yet to strike such a deal but it is believed that an announcement could be made as early as April and that production could theoretically commence during the second half of 2015 in either SKD (semi-knocked-down) or CKD (completely-knocked-down) form.

It remains to be seen which manufacturer Peugeot would team up with. Toyota has already been ruled out and our guess is that both Nissan and General Motors are the strongest prospects at the moment given that they currently lack major export programmes, making it difficult to meet the Automotive Production and Development Programme targets required to offset duties for imported models.

Nissan would seem a logical choice, given that the local Rosslyn plant has just ceased Renault Sandero production but then one must wonder what kind of politics might might arise, given Nissan's international alliance with Peugeot's French rival Renault.

Regardless of who builds it, the Peugeot 301 would fit well into the South African market given that it was created to provide developing countries with a relatively affordable sedan that's at home on poor road surfaces.

It measures 4.44 metres in length and boasts a massive 640 litre boot and 121mm worth of rear legroom.

On international markets it's offered with a choice between two naturally aspirated engines - a 53kW 1.2 VTi and 85kW 1.6 VTi - and a 68kW 1.6 HDi turbodiesel.

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