PSA’s intention of selling new cars in the United States and Canada were confirmed last month by CEO Carlos Tavares, who said that Peugeot has been tasked with the job.
The French automaker will thus return to our shores after ending their operations here in the early 1990s. And while they still have to officially reveal which vehicles they will sell on this side of the pond, AutoNews reports that they will be concentrating their efforts on compact and midsize models.
One potential candidate is the 3008 compact crossover, something that was hinted at by the Peugeot’s CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato, who said “When we launched the 3008, the feedback we got, including from California, was ‘wow, this car is super’”.
The 5008 seven-seat crossover could also be on the list, alongside the new generation 508 midsize fastback sedan and estate. Also, the 308 is also in for a significant makeover, with the new generation expected to arrive as early as 2020 and, theoretically, it could be pitted against the likes of the Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Golf in the U.S. compact segment.
There’s no denying that Peugeot has enough vehicles to choose from, and with the PSA Group’s blessing, it could develop even more. The auto brand also knows the market, but they will still calculate everything, as “we want to come back in a scalable way and not waste billions on operations”, Imparato noted, adding that “our image in the U.S. is neutral to favorable”.
Peugeot will kick off their U.S. operations with the Free2Move car-sharing program, which will help them learn more about the market. Eventually, they will launch their own vehicles, which will be imported from factories in Europe and/or China, because assembling cars in the States needs to be supported by sales volume.
“There won’t be any huge investment on production up front and praying that the business case is good”, said Tavares. “We won’t go conventional on our business model. We have quite a creative and disruptive way of distributing the cars.”