Economy, Auto

Peugeot-Citroen May Return to US

Peugeot-Citroen May Return to USPeugeot-Citroen May Return to US

A new report from Automobilwoche suggests that French automaker PSA Peugeot-Citroen is considering a return to the North American market.

PSA officials at the 2016 Geneva Auto Show said CEO Carlos Tavares has turned his attention to international growth and is considering North America and Iran as the first two markers for expansion now that the automaker is profitable.

Officials from PSA noted that the automaker will detail its international growth strategy on April 5 and that Citroen’s luxury division, DS, could lead it.

“Our Back in the Race restructuring program has been successfully completed,” brand chief Yves Bonnefont told the German publication. “Now comes the next step. And this has put the issue of the US on the table.”

Bonnefont added that DS is “a natural candidate” for PSA’s return to the North American market. Two years ago, Bonnefont said in an interview with Automotive News Europe that PSA wants to make DS a “global premium brand” and that “you cannot be global without the US”.

Citroen’s DS brand was launched in 2010 and is currently on sale in China and Europe.

Last year, DS splintered off from Citroen and the brand is poised to get its own network of dealerships globally.

You can think of DS as being to Citroen what Lexus is to Toyota. Both luxury brands use the same vehicle architectures as the parent company. Currently, DS’s lineup consists of the DS 3 hatch and convertible, the DS 4 hatchback and Crossback, and the DS 5 wagon. In China, a crossover called the DS 6 is also sold.

The DS brand in the Iranian market has already established its first showroom in the Andarzgou Boulevard area of Tehran.

Financial Tribune previously referred to it as an “official” showroom, with PSA responding that it is a “genuine branch”.

The last time Citroen sold a vehicle in the US was 1974, while Peugeot sold its final car in 1991 when it pulled out of North America.

PSA has maintained a presence in the US years after it stopped sales there, to track North American safety and emissions standards and manage relationships with other automakers, until 2013 when it closed its Detroit office.

Citroen’s DS brand is expected to get six new models engineered for global markets by 2020.