Peugeot builds its last ICE-only car in historic Sochaux factory

As the curtain falls on the second-generation Peugeot 3008, a massive hit for the French manufacturer so does the production of ICE-only models at its historic Sochaux production site. Only electric and (mild) hybrid models will be built from now on.

To say the 3008 II was a success for Peugeot would be an understatement. 1,388,163 models of the mid-size SUV were built in just under eight years, making it one of the most popular Peugeot models ever. “It’s always difficult to say goodbye to a car. You get attached to it, even more so with a bestseller like this one,” says Jean-Luc Ternet, spokesperson for the CTFC union at the Sochaux plant.

End of ‘pure’ ICE

The end of the 3008 II marks the beginning of a new chapter at Sochaux in more ways than one. With it, the production of combustion-only powered vehicles ends at the historic Peugeot factory. Its successor, the third-generation 3008, and its bigger brother, the 5008, are only available as a (mild or plug-in) hybrid and as a fully electric model.

Back in 2021, Peugeot celebrated the one millionth 3008 II at the Sochaux factory /Peugeot

However, there are some doubts from within the factory that this electrified successor will be able to capture the same success as the outgoing model. “The choice to adapt [to producing electric vehicles] was not ours, but we were able to do it. And if the regulations change again, we will be able to adapt back to producing combustion-powered vehicles,” says Christophe Montavon, director of the Sochaux factory.

Turn back on electrification?

Montavon hints at the growing doubts that the EU-wide regulation to ban the sale of new ICE vehicles by 2035 will come into effect. Sales are slowing down, and more and more manufacturers are starting to adjust (and delay) their electrification plans after an optimistic first couple of years of massive relative growth.

However, even if there’s a chance that combustion-powered passenger cars will remain for a bit longer, some form of electrification to lower CO2 emissions (on paper) will almost certainly remain, whether it’s a mild, complete, or plug-in hybrid powertrain. Therefore, the last ever ‘pure’ combustion engine has likely made its way out of the Sochaux factory on Thursday, June 6th, 2024.


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