PSA Peugeot Citroen will unveil the world’s first diesel-electric car this week to take on Renault SA’s all-electric strategy as both French carmakers play catch- up to Toyota Motor Corp.
Peugeot, Europe’s second-largest automaker, will use the Paris Motor Show to push a hybrid version of its 3008 crossover hatchback, while Renault sets out its strategy for making battery-powered cars a mass-market success.
Peugeot Chief Executive Officer Philippe Varin and Renault Nissan alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn’s face-off exemplifies industry divisions over the kinds of green technology consumers might embrace. Carmakers are chasing market leader Toyota, whose 1997 gasoline-electric Prius was the world’s first hybrid.
“Renault-Nissan has missed the boat on hybrid technology,” said Naimish Shah, who helps manage $100 billion for New Jersey-based Lord Abbett and sold most of his Renault stock in the first half of the year. “Electric cars are a risky bet as hybrids improve and prices come down.