By Laurence Frost and Gilles Guillaume
PARIS (Reuters) - PSA Peugeot Citroen
Through statements and photos published on Thursday, the company offered a glimpse of a compact Peugeot 301 car to be built in Vigo, Spain, and introduced later this year, starting in Turkey.
The new car "illustrates the internationalization of the brand", Peugeot said, predicting that it would become one of its global bestsellers.
Peugeot, which swung to an automotive operating loss in 2011 as demand crumbled in its core European markets, is seeking to raise the share of deliveries outside the region to 50 percent in 2015 from 42 percent last year.
Priced between the existing 208 subcompact and 308 compact hatchback, according to the company, the new Peugeot stops short of the low-cost approach behind Renault's
"The problem is that there's still too much cost internalized in these Peugeot vehicles," said London-based UBS analyst Philippe Houchois.
Whereas no-frills Renaults, starting with the Logan sedan in 2004, were designed from scratch with half the number of components typical for their size, the 301 shares its underlying platform with mainstream models.
"It's good but not a game-changer," said Houchois, who has a "buy" rating on Peugeot shares. "Peugeot is doing low-cost the old way for lack of investment and time."
Peugeot Chief Executive Philippe Varin has repeatedly vowed not to follow his domestic rival's example by marketing low-cost vehicles under the automaker's main brands.
Renault's entry-level range, built in Romania and Morocco, is sold under the Dacia brand in Europe but carries the Renault badge elsewhere. Introduced last month, the Lodgy starts at 10,000 euros ($12,600).
Unlike Renault, Peugeot has no plans to sell its low-cost models in Western Europe, a company spokesman said. "But we don't completely rule it out if they're a big success."
The Peugeot 301 will get its first public showing at the Paris motor show in September, two months before it goes on sale.
Two Citroen models will follow as the automaker strives to increase its share of growth markets in central and eastern Europe, the Mediterranean basin and former Soviet states including Russia, the company said.
(Editing by David Cowell)