Peugeot is coming back to the United States
The last time you could buy a new Peugeot in the United States or Canada was in 1991. An economic recession and weak sales – Peugeot’s U.S. volume had dropped 80% in less than a decade to fewer than 5,000 units annually – added up to an ignoble end. On Tuesday, PSA’s chief executive Carlos Tavares announced that the French brand will lead the automaker’s return to the North American market and that it has started the process to homologate vehicles to meet Canadian and U.S. regulations. You’ll still have to wait another seven years, however, as new Peugeots will not go on sale here until 2026.
As part of its cautious approach, PSA will not initially cover the entire continent. Instead Peugeot will be reintroduced in 15 American states and four Canadian provinces. Those areas represent the majority of regional vehicle sales, with residents are also friendly to imported cars and trucks. In 2017, Larry Dominique, formerly of Nissan and TrueCar, was put in charge of PSA’s return to North America.
While PSA has not announced which vehicles are coming to our shores, they will be supplied from factories in Europe and China. There was no word on any plans for local assembly, but as cautious as PSA is being, it’s not likely they’ll be building cars in North America anytime soon.
There is even a chance that the first Peugeots that return to North America might be shared, not sold. The transportation scene has changed a bit since the last 505 station wagon was sold in the U.S. PSA is considering car-sharing and other “mobility” solutions outside of private vehicles as part of its reentry into this market. It launched the Free2Move brand in 2017, first with a cellphone app in Seattle that allows users to pay for a range of mobility services including jitneys and public transportation, and then last year with a car-sharing service in Washington, D.C.