Car Industry

PSA, USA: Peugeot to return to US in three-stage rollout

Don't expect to go to your local Pug dealer in six months' time or anything like that.

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At Geneva, DS unveiled the E-Tense, an electric two-seater that presages the company's forthcoming design language. It's also a functional prototype that DS is using to help develop its production EV powertrain.

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When I last caught up with members of PSA Peugeot Citroen at the Geneva Motor Show, they'd said that the group was "looking at" a return to the US. Now, there's confirmation that the group (PSA from here on out) is coming back to the Land of Eagles and Freedom, but not exactly how you might expect.

PSA's plans, as per Bloomberg, don't involve landing Stateside and immediately setting up dealerships. Instead, the return will unfold over an entire decade, across three distinct stages. The first two stages involve something other automakers are also looking into -- ride sharing.

The first stage involves creating a ride-sharing presence in the US. It will likely involve Bollore Group, a PSA collaborator over in Europe that manages an electric ride-sharing fleet in Paris. If that works out, PSA will then introduce its own vehicles into those fleets. Eventually, if everything goes according to plan, PSA will once again establish a retail presence, as it did some 25 years ago.

One part of PSA that's been heavily featured in potential US return stories is Citroen's new luxury offshoot, DS. It could provide a breath of fresh air in comparison to the staid German offerings that have flooded our shores (and our high-end shopping mall parking lots) for decades now.

This is about the most sensible plan PSA could have. French cars don't exactly have most Americans' badge of trust, and a quarter-century leaves plenty of time for preconceived notions to take a firm grasp. Thus, it makes sense that the brand would slowly maneuver itself into a position where it's not only smart to move to the US, but also being met with open arms.