Peugeot makes more coupé-cabriolets than anyone else, and is by far the most successful manufacturer of the breed with a quarter of the European market. It has a long history in making them. This certainly heritage bodes well for the 308 CC. There were coupé-cabriolet Peugeots before the second world war, even; the 401, 601 and 602 Eclipse models pioneered the format in the 1930s. Advanced as they were, the Eclipses were expensive, low-volume models, however: the company’s post-war coupé-cabriolets have been built in far larger numbers.
However, the original year 2000 206 CC nearly didn’t happen at all. The company was concerned that this complicated, relatively high-cost small car would not sell in enough volume to turn a profit. Spurred on by the success of the 1996 Mercedes SLK though, which proved the readiness of the European market to buy retractable hardtop convertibles again, Peugeot took the risk – and was duly rewarded with the generous spoils so often earned by those first to a new market niche.
Not that the original 206 and 307 CC were flawless; patchy roof reliability, floppy bodies and compromised packaging undermined their functionality, but not enough to prevent them from gathering a following strong enough, even, to translate into particularly laudable secondhand values.