By on August 27, 2008

Fromage!Despite the headline claims of, um, some Motor Authoritative sources , Peugeot is not coming to the United States any time soon. And Canada would be a real stretch. The basis for the claim is that Peugeot is looking to expand the number of markets in which it sells cars, and the French company brass said "with the American dollar being weak, sure, it's possible." But that's not enough. This story comes out every few years , and it's no more true this time around. As much as this writer and probably many other European car lovers would be excited at the prospect of another affordable marque in this country, it's not gonna happen any time soon, or any time not as soon. Americans are still politically not so hot on the French, then there are dealer/service/parts infrastructure issues (namely that there isn't much of anything left from 20 years ago), the added cost of engineering for our emissions and crash standards, and the inconvenient reality that most Americans still aren't truly warmed up to small cars. Not to mention, the current Peugeot lineup is seriously strange.

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23 Comments on “Peugeot is Not Coming to the US...”

  • avatar

    I did hear from another automotive source that said Peugeot may come to the states in about 2 years. It said that Peugeot is trying to increase its sales and is looking to expand in China, India, and South America to. And they might also ask for funding to build a new diesel hybrid to use on the markets soon to. But only time will tell if Peugeot could make it back here in the states.

  • avatar

    Peugeot “could” bring in South American manufactured small cars which are fairly up-to-date (and I have to wonder, I can’t keep up with all of this – is there a free-trade pact like NAFTA for cars, between the US and South America yet?)

    As for their mid-sized 408 type cars, I have to wonder if Mitsubishi would be very happy to use excess capacity at their Normal, Illinois plant to put them together. (Mitsubishi assemble Peugeot and Citroen badged SUV’s in their Dutch factory for Europe, based on the Outback).

    As for a dealer, auto and parts distribution network, Daewoo USA is sitting there without a dance partner, just ready to go, having had the rug yanked out from under them by GM in 2002.

    For that matter, the Isuzu dealer network is losing it’s dancing partner this fall.

    As for the politics, the latest change in politics in France has had a favorable impression on the US public who can be bothered to notice such things.

    I’d love to see Peugeot coming back, diesels included (as well as their upcoming hybrid diesel) but it’s almost a 0% chance.

    Did anyone else hear the news that MG is now officially “dead” for the United States? Nanking (owner of MG) was morphed by / bought up by SAIC and are closing the door on the Oklahoma assembly plant for MG cars which had been planned.

    Speaking of which, doesn’t everyone know that Lucas light switches have 3 positions? “Smoke”, “flicker” and “dim”. Chinese made Lucas electrics would probably have even more spectacularly bad “reliability” (using the term very loosely) than British made…. I’m just sayin’….

  • avatar

    I think our political attitude toward the French is improving, especially with Nicolas Sarkozy as their current prez. There was no where to go up with our attitude toward them, anyway. I have a feeling they’d sell the same amount of cars whatever our attitude: very few. The “quirky” people whom I’d guess would buy them would care less.

    A quick search for “Peugeot” in Ohio on yielded 1 result: a lawyer with that last name.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    I’ve had three of their vehicles over the years. Two 405’s and a 505 wagon. The only good thing I can say about the 405 is that the parts never cost me anything because I had access to three others that were hardly touched in a Georgia junkyard. Well, the seats were fairly nice as well. Otherwise it was greatly inferior to even an Alfa Romeo 164.

    The 505 wagon is supposedly a classic with even some countries producing a variant of it today (hello Nigeria!). But I still believe the 240/940/740 Volvos are far better vehicles, and Toyota has more or less chopped off the 505’s reputation as a bulletproof vehicle in French speaking African countries.

    Oh, the lawyer comment a couple threads up is hilarious. I actually know of a lawyer named Marty who absolutely adores these vehicles. He actually got a low mileage 505 a few years ago from an estate and is still driving it today.

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    Steve Lang,

    As much as I respect old Volvo’s, their suspensions were…crude compared to the sophisticated irs long-stroke Peugeot suspenders of yore. Truly the magic carpet rides. But today’s Peugeots? Yechh!

  • avatar

    Peugeot “could” bring in South American manufactured small cars which are fairly up-to-date (and I have to wonder, I can’t keep up with all of this – is there a free-trade pact like NAFTA for cars, between the US and South America yet?)

    Menno, a simple answer for you: as far as I know NO.

    There are “NAFTAs” for some individual countries (I don’t remember which ones now)

    But between the “beloved” Chavez pushing for ALBA bullshit and the problems ALCA faced for approval in your congress… I don’t expect such a thing to happen soon.

    Here in Venezuela we get: 206 (cute little thing), 307 (fugly, unless is the CC version), 407 (very nice) .

  • avatar

    Off topic.

    Just noticed this line:
    Stingray : Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Has the flaming, bashing and stuff like that went so bad in this site that this is required?


  • avatar

    Off topic.

    Just noticed this line:
    Stingray : Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Has the flaming, bashing and stuff like that went so bad in this site that this is required?

    No. Occasionally our spam filter gets a bit overzealous and traps legit comments for moderation. It’s most commonly triggered by profanity, but it can be triggered by several things, including an inordinate number of URLs listed, anything that looks like a string of numbers that could be a price list, something in your IP address or domain can trigger it, and sometimes I think it just likes being ornery. When something gets held up, one of us will usually catch it fairly quickly and free it from cyber purgatory.

  • avatar


    Maybe using “colorful” language or words also triggers it.

    Thanks for the explanation =)

  • avatar

    Non, merci.

    The only thing that Peugeot has to offer in the North American market is their quirky designs. We don’t need it. Please bring Alfa, though.

  • avatar

    Justin, yes, there are issues preventing Peugeot’s return to North America, but crash and emissions standards aren’t two of them.
    The European crash standards are as strict as ours, if not more so. And these days emissions are adjustable through computer programming, not equipment.

  • avatar

    willbodine said: “The European crash standards are as strict as ours, if not more so. And these days emissions are adjustable through computer programming, not equipment.”

    True for gasoline cars, willbodine, but not for 50 state diesel cars. Unless the European diesel emission specs are now a lot tighter than they were, anyway…

    I think for US diesel sales, a lot of extra equipment is needed (urea injection, anyone?) though I believe Honda is engineering a diesel car engine which will meet specs without urea.

  • avatar

    The last time I was in the UK (admittedly, several years ago) I saw 206’s everywhere and thought they were very sharp little hatches. I would have gladly owned one.

    I’m not so sure about their recent design direction, though. A little bit of extra funky, methinks.

    • 0 avatar

      I am owner of a 206 (from portugal). The Peugeot recent design direction has been critical but acceptable and more interessting when you see it live not on a photocatalog. Plus the new design brought interiors with details that can but a bmw in cause! Well I hope some days americans see the fun of a small car instead of  big cars like cadilacs with interiors of a caterpillar :D (no ofense)

      Juan, Portugal

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    In 1967 Chrysler bought the French maker SIMCA, but in 1978 they sold it to Peugeot. Peugeot could buy Chrysler and use its plants to make Peugeots and Citrons for the US market.

  • avatar

    This story is utter tosh!

    Peugeot could come back to the USA, if they wanted to.

    1. Bringing the 107 to the USA would have virtually no risk at all. The 107 is a badge engineered Toyota Aygo. Which means reliability shouldn’t be an issue.

    2. Peugeot-Citroen have agreements with Toyota and Mitsubishi (Toyota have a joint venture with them in Europe for the 107/C1/Aygo car and Mitsubishi make an SUV for them). So to extend that partnership to using their established network in NA wouldn’t be that stretch of the imagination.

    The fact is Peugeot is scared to come back to the USA because their cars just aren’t that good. Renault keep making the same bluster about coming to the NA market (and they should have it easier as they can use Nissan to help them), but their cars are simply poor.

    Now FIAT might have a chance in North America, believe it or not……

    P.S Dean, the reason you saw 206’s everywhere is because they were built in the UK. the 206 was one of Peugeot’s more reliable cars. Now Peugeot closed the UK factory, they now sell the 207 made in Eastern Europe. Totally bloated car.

  • avatar

    Made me laugh, Katie! Thanks for the heads up on Peugeot “reliability” and “quality” of late! Ha.

    Wow – most Americans – if they think of FIAT at all – instantly think “Fix-It-Again,-Tony” and think of the spectacularly BAD Fiat Strada (called Ritmo everywhere except US, Canada, UK) last sold here from 1979 through 1982.

    FIAT has virtually NO chance in the US using their own brand name, IMHO. Perhaps badging their 500 with “Abarth”, competing with Mini Cooper, and selling them alongside the 1/2 dozen or so Alfa’s they’ll be able to broom per year, would work. Maybe. Probably not.

    The US market is littered with spectacular failures of foreigners trying to sell cars they make in and for other markets.

    Wonder how much of the $2 billion FIAT screwed GM out of will end up being re-patriated by FIAT trying to sell cars in the states again? Heh heh.

    Here’s just a partial list of foreign failures on the US market from post-war to present.

    Alfa Romeo
    Auto Union
    Diahatsu (just to prove even the Japanese aren’t immune)
    De Tomaso
    Facel Vega
    British Ford
    German Ford
    Isuzu (now dying)
    Vauxhall (through Oldsmobile dealers 1958-1960)

  • avatar


    My dad bought a Peugeot wagon in the ’79 during the diesel craze. It was a decent car when it ran and was fun to drive as you sat up high and it sounded like a little truck. Before it’s death I just started to get to drive it when I was 15. Plus it’s highway mpg was 30 which was big for it’s day!

    But water in diesel was often a problem for it so my dad had to usually fuel up at only truck stops. The Peugeot also smoked in the morning liked a Cigar Aficionado convention.

    Getting it serviced was usually by a small foreign import shop by a guy named Tony, that is when you were in town! On three occasions it broke down out in the country side and would end up taking a week or so for some local repair shop to figure out how to repair it and find the parts. In fact it sat in one shop for several months while it waited for a part from Europe!

    Shortly afterwards at 100,000 miles a head cracked, and my dad was done with it. It was hauled away to the junk yard. Thinking back, too bad we could’t have put in a reliable gas motor to it as it’s body was in perfect condition.

  • avatar

    Too bad. Fun little cars and the current cars nothing like their older examples.

    I liked every Peugeot I drove when I was in Italy. My friend’s cars did not require any more attention that the cars we get here in the states despite the rough southern Italian roads.

  • avatar

    Click and Clack said it best. When it comes to cars, the French copy no one, and no one copies the French.

  • avatar

    menno, that’s an incredible list. But there are so many truly obscure brands, I have to wonder if the list includes some marques that never had a formal US sales branch. GI’s returning from overseas with their foreign-bought cars might account for a few such rarities.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Menno, that is a very impressive list.

    We happen to be visiting in Ireland at this moment and I am greatly enjoying seeing a very different automotive landscape than that of California. Yesterday we saw our first Hummer of the week …. a stretched limo version no less – yuck.

    Our rental is a Ford Mondeo hatchback which has been an excellent drive. It is, however, a touch big for the narrow roads encountered once off the motorway.

    Most people are driving small hatchbacks, small wagons and sub Mazda 5 sized minivans. Modern Minis seem to be about a mid-sized car. The Irish are still having lots of children and they get around quite well in vehicles less than 1/2 the volume of the Chevy Suburban.

    Hopefully Ford will make a go of bringing many of their Euro models to the states as Ford seems highly competitive here. As for Peugeot, why bother? Renault also makes no sense as they can bring any appropriate models in as Nissans already, so why have another mid-market brand?

  • avatar

    Peugeot’s lineup is strange but beautiful and distinctive. There’s a lot of room for a new lineup of cars that can stand apart from the others on the road, in an upscale yet affordable way. Peugeot has been building some larger cars that could do well here, and they could probably compete against Fiat and Smart for the small car market if they opened some boutiques (Tesla-style) in urban centers. One can dream, anyway.

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