PSA Peugeot Citroen continues its turnaround strategy implementation, which includes a deeper separation between the automaker’s current brands – Peugeot, Citroen and the DS unit.
The second largest European automaker has had a dire period after the 2009 recession, being saved from an ill fate last year through a capital increase plan that brought in three billion euros and Chinese automaker Dongfeng and the French state as shareholders, with matching 14 percent stakes. As part of the chief executive officer’s Carlos Tavares revival plan, the Peugeot brand would be positioned as an upscale competitor to European peers such as Volkswagen, while Citroen would assume entry-level duties and DS would become the official luxury brand.
In order to support the upscale bid, Peugeot is now poised to introduce driverless features on the upcoming new generation 508 flagship in a bid to gain market share in Europe. PSA Peugeot Citroen chief executive officer Carlos Tavares described the new self-driving features to be found on the next 508 as a necessary step forward that would in the end lead to fully autonomous driving. The driver assistance features include hands-free steering and braking control in heavy traffic, on the highways and when parking. Analysts believe the features are a must today in the tough environment of the midsize car segment, becoming the norm when the next 508 would reach the European continent’s markets sometimes in 2017. While technology giants such as Google have jumped on the autonomous bandwagon with projects that seek direct implementation of fully self-driving vehicles, traditional automakers are taking a step by step approach, with new self-driving features introduced every new generation.
Via Automotive News Europe