It's Decision Time for PSA's American Return

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
its decision time for psas american return

PSA Group surely wishes it had a crystal ball. As the French automaker prepares to make a series of key decisions for its planned North American return, the future trade landscape between the United States and Europe couldn’t be murkier. Will U.S. President Donald Trump levy steep tariffs on imported European cars, or will existing and proposed tariffs crumble like the Berlin Wall?

That’s just one consideration company brass needs to weigh. Other hard choices involve selecting the types of vehicles Americans might want to drive.

The long road back to North America — a market Peugeot vacated in 1991 — began with mobility services, but the ultimate goal is to have the retail sale of Peugeot, Citroën, or upscale DS cars by 2026. Earlier this year, the automaker said it was eyeing 15 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces as key markets.

Speaking to Automotive News on the sidelines of the Paris auto show, PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares said the company has entered a crucial phase of its plan. Exactly which PSA brand will make the boat trip sits at the top of the decision list, but the distribution model must also be agreed upon. In the past, the automaker has spoken highly of adopting a low-cost, cutting-edge direct sales model, but AN now reports the company has a traditional dealer network in its sights.

“For each of those strategic questions, there are several scenarios,” Tavares said. “We are going to decide between now and spring of 2019.”

As it formulates its retail plan, PSA has updated its Free2Move app, which grants users in several West Coast markets access to ride-sharing, ride-hailing, and other mobility aids — if you want to call them that. It also plans to unveil a short-term rental fleet in Washington, D.C. by the end of the month.

Just don’t expect to hop behind the wheel of a new Citroën C3 Aircross after touching down at Reagan. For this initial venture, PSA plans to lease Chevrolet Equinoxes and Cruzes. Eventually, PSA vehicles will supplement domestic and foreign makes in the company’s U.S. mobility fleets.

[Images: PSA Group]

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4 of 20 comments
  • Jfb43 Jfb43 on Oct 08, 2018

    What we really need is the Dacia Sandero.

  • Namstrap Namstrap on Oct 08, 2018

    As a Canadian looking at the current political situation, and the threats from POTUS, I think welcoming imports from places like France would be a good idea, if just for our own use. We could build factories here as well which would employ Canadian workers.

    • See 1 previous
    • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Oct 10, 2018

      Selling cars only in Canada would be similar to those special models which were only sold in Australia.

  • Brett Woods 2023 Corvette base model.
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  • Poltergeist Make sure you order the optional Dungdai fire suppression system.
  • Prabirmehta I charge my EV at home 100% of the time. The EV is used for in-town driving and the gas guzzling SUV is used for out of town trips. This results in a huge cost saving and rare trips to the gas station.
  • Conundrum Three cylinder Ford Escapes, Chevy whatever it is that competes, and now the Rogue. Great, ain't it? Toyota'll be next with a de-tuned GR Corolla/Yaris powerplant. It's your life getting better and better, yes indeed. A piston costs money, you know.The Rogue and Altima used to have the zero graviy foam front seats. Comfy, but the new Rogue dumps that advance. Costs money. And that color-co-ordinated gray interior, my, ain't it luvverly? Ten years after they perfected it in the first Versa to appeal to the terminally depressed, it graduates to the Rogue.There's nothing decent to buy on the market for normal money. Not a damn thing interests me at all.