Peugeot is accelerating its plans to return to the U.S. market, chief executive Carlos Tavares has revealed to The Wall Street Journal.
During a recent interview, Tavares said that a selection of Peugeot models will be exported to the U.S. and Canada within three to four years. This is much sooner than the 2026 date previously iterated by the executive.
According to Tavares, the French car manufacturer is pushing ahead its planned re-entry into the United States thanks in part to its acquisition of Opel. Tavares says this gave Peugeot a team of engineers familiar with U.S. vehicle specifications due to their previous work with General Motors. Peugeot also reports seeing positive feedback during ‘clinic trials’ with American consumers regarding the company’s return to the States.
“I want to be a long-term player in the U.S.,” Tavares said. “What we can bring to the U.S. is based on everything you see today. We are launching our pure electric cars, we are launching our plug-in hybrid cars, we are launching great SUVs. There is no limit.”
Rather than establishing a large dealership network, Peugeot will instead pursue new distribution and sales methods which could include allowing consumers to buy its vehicles online while also giving them the ability to easily schedule test drives.
Tavares believes it is important for Peugeot to enter the U.S. market with a big selection of models rather than just a small number of vehicles. Despite this, he admits that “it will take many years before we have market share.”
News of Peugeot’s U.S. return comes a couple weeks after it was revealed that the PSA Group was open to a merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which could further aid this move.