PSA might come back to the US image

The French auto group seeks to expand their horizon and their focus is on the North American market, automaker’s official told Automobilwoche publication.

Peugeot Citroen has completed its turnaround plan and now the French auto group is back on profit. But for a further growth, it has to explore other markets as well, beside Europe and China. The next two big auto regions to be considered are North America and Iran, PSA officials told Automobilwoche, a sibling publication of Automotive News. The comeback to the US is a crucial step, as its market is the biggest one for the premium segment, and PSA plans to push its DS upscale brand in front. Citroen sold its last car in the United States in 1974, and Peugeot did so in 1991. “Our Back in the Race restructuring program has been successfully completed,” brand chief Yves Bonnefont told Automobilwoche. “Now comes the next step. And this has put the issue of the US on the table.” PSA officials also told the publication they would detail their international expansion strategy on April 5. However, returning to North America it will be a challenging task, as the automaker has neither a plant in the region, nor a dealer network.

“Pricing is an issue. Everyone else – Audi, BMW, Mercedes – has manufacturing here,” Richard Lucki sad, who managed PSA’s US business until 2013, when the company made its full exit. During the years PSA kept its office in Detroit, it was always with an eye towards returning someday, he said.

Until PSA will return to the US soil, the newly re-opened Iranian market is already exploited by the company, as DS Automobiles opened in January its first store in the country. The launch of the brand in Iran follows the October announcement of a deal between DS and Arian Group to operate and oversee the automotive brand’s first venture into the Middle East.

Via Automotive News