French Invasion of Georgia Underway After Groupe PSA Chooses Atlanta for American HQ

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
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french invasion of georgia underway after groupe psa chooses atlanta for american hq

It’s likely the vanguard of the invasion force is already on Georgia soil, probably after landing at Hartsfield-Jackson following a nice Air France flight from Aéroport de Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle. Don’t be scared, though. These people are delivering choice to new car buyers, at least once their plan is fully underway.

Groupe PSA, maker of Peugeot, Citroën, and DS vehicles, announced Tuesday that Atlanta will become home to its new North American headquarters. It’s an early but crucial step in the company’s decade-long plan to return to the American automotive scene.

The new HQ will be operational by February, the automaker claims. Already, there’s a core team laying the groundwork for the company’s cautious product strategy — one designed to gradually acclimatize Americans to French cars before actually offering them for sale.

“We looked at every aspect of the Atlanta community and found it to be the most suitable location for us,” said Larry Dominique, President of PSA North America, in a statement.

“While the overall business environment, standard of living and university system played an important part in our decision, our unique needs in terms of technology, mobility innovation and car culture ultimately identified Atlanta as our perfect choice.”

PSA first announced its plan to return to the U.S. — following a quarter-century absence — in 2016. It’s a three-phase plan, the first phase of which is already underway. PSA started out by launching its Free2Move “mobility aggregation platform” in Seattle last October. Via an app, users can search carsharing 0r bikesharing services in a particular area, then book whatever vehicle from whatever service that strikes their fancy. PSA plans to spread the service to other U.S. cities, with car rental services added this year.

Sure, it’s hardly a gleaming Citroën DS parked in your driveway, but the company’s being cautious. The second phase of the plan involves offering mobility services (carsharing) with the company’s own vehicles. While users won’t be able to buy a Peugeot, et al, they’ll be able to drive one around and imagine they’re coasting down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.

The third phase of the company’s plan, naturally, is retail sales. Francophiles face a long wait, as this won’t take place until well into the coming decade. Still, the automaker is planning its next generation of vehicles to be compatible with American safety standards, so there’s no question as to the company’s seriousness.

PSA joins Mercedes-Benz USA and Porsche Cars North America in setting up its U.S. base of operations in Atlanta.

[Image: Peugeot]

Steph Willems
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2 of 23 comments
  • JohnTaurus JohnTaurus on Jan 23, 2018

    I, for one, welcome them and wish them well. Hope they bring over some unique products and their very nice looking luxury cars (DS).

  • CombiCoupe99 CombiCoupe99 on Jan 24, 2018

    Here we go again! I don't think these folks understand the deep contempt Americans collectively have for French cars. I think its safe to say that most folks would choose even a FIAT over a French "insert brand here."

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  • George Hughes What ever happened to the American can-do attitude. I know what, it was coopted by the fossil fuel industry in their effort to protect their racket.
  • 28-Cars-Later "But Assemblyman Phil Ting, the San Franciscan Democrat who wrote the electric school bus legislation, says this is all about the health and wellbeing of Golden State residents. In addition to the normal air pollution stemming from exhaust gasses, he believes children are being exposed to additional carcinogens by just being on a diesel bus."Phil is into real estate, he doesn't know jack sh!t about science or medicine and if media were real it would politely remind him his opinions are not qualified... if it were real. Another question if media were real is why is a very experienced real estate advisor and former tax assessor writing legislation on school busses? If you read the rest of his bio after 2014, his expertise seems to be applied but he gets into more and more things he's not qualified to speak to or legislate on - this isn't to say he isn't capable of doing more but just two years ago Communism™ kept reminding me Dr. Fauxi knew more about medicine than I did and I should die or something. So Uncle Phil just gets a pass with his unqualified opinions?Ting began his career as a real estate  financial adviser at  Arthur Andersen and  CBRE. He also previously served as the executive director of the  Asian Law Caucus, as the president of the Bay Area Assessors Association, and on the board of  Equality California. [url=][1][/url][h3][/h3]In 2005, Ting was appointed San Francisco Assessor-Recorder in 2005 by Mayor  Gavin Newsom, becoming San Francisco’s highest-ranking  Chinese-American official at the time. He was then elected to the post in November 2005, garnering 58 percent of the vote.Ting was re-elected Assessor-Recorder in 2006 and 2010During his first term in the Assembly, Ting authored a law that helped set into motion the transformation of Piers 30-32 into what would become  Chase Center the home of the  Golden State Warriors
  • RHD This looks like a lead balloon. You could buy a fantastic classic car for a hundred grand, or a Mercedes depreciationmobile. There isn't much reason to consider this over many other excellent vehicles that cost less. It's probably fast, but nothing else about it is in the least bit outstanding, except for the balance owed on the financing.
  • Jeff A bread van worthy of praise by Tassos.