OKAY Peugeot, the recovery starts here.
Good news out of Europe is the all-new 3008 small SUV has scooped the 2017 European Car of the Year award, giving Aussie dealers something really positive to cling to ahead of the car's third quarter Australian launch.
It's been a rough ride for the French brand here of late. Sales were down 22% last year, and this year so far that number's down a further 39%. Reinforcements can't come soon enough.
Positively, a revamped 2008 SUV has just landed, a new 5008 people mover will follow and Peugeot's 208 and 308 hatchbacks are attractive if perhaps not class-leading offerings.
It's the new 3008 SUV that has most potential to aid growth however. Winning European Car of the Year is no small matter. It's awarded by a judging panel of 58 motoring journalists from 22 different countries.
The judging panel assessed 30 potential winners before giving the 3008 the nod thanks to its style, interior design and performance.
The new 3008 SUV was on display at last week's Geneva Motor Show and I took the time to get a good look around it. I'll admit to being something of a Peugeot fan - I favour the underdog and keep one of the brand's 205 GTi hot hatches in my garage because it delivers an ever-brilliant drive experience.
And the 3008 appeared a convincing thing. Its proportions are good from a young family/cool lifestyle perspective and indeed the cabin is worthy of praise. It has Peugeot's fantastic i-Cockpit with its titchy steering wheel below a 12.3-inch head-up display nicely in your peripheral vision just below the windscreen.
Add a central touchscreen, angled dashboard, cool ambient lighting, funky auto shifter and classy switchgear and it's a modern, appealing place to go to work. It feels far more premium that I'd expect in a Peugeot, with plenty of soft touch surfaces and very cool seat cover material.
Would I buy one? Despite not being an SUV convert I can see the 3008's appeal now that I have two kids in tow, plus I'm a sucker for motorsport success and the gorgeous 3008 DKR triumphed on the 2017 Dakar Rally. The road-going model isn't the cheapest though.
Current 3008 is $35,490 the 2WD petrol and $38,990 the 2WD diesel, and I'd expect the new 3008 to maintain such prices. That puts it up against some quality family cars and SUVs around the $40k mark. Think VW's AWD Golf Alltrack, Skoda's Octavia Scout or all-wheel-drive SUV heavyweights such as the Hyundai Tucson, Subaru Outback or Mazda CX-5.
If we trust the Europeans' opinions though, they're quite taken with the new 3008. Nearly 100,000 have placed orders for the 2017 SUV already, so here's hoping it can bring some much-needed joy to Aussie Peugeot dealers when it arrives here later in the year. On first impressions, it thoroughly deserves to.