Citroen's French connection to the N.A. market
By now you have heard about the return of the PSA group and the possibility of one of their brands returning to the North American market. But which one will they choose as they now have a few more brands to choose from. But two of them may not be wise to import to the U.S. market as they almost became Canadian a decade ago.
Back in 2008 the world was set into a global financial crisis, with many automotive companies looking for ways to trim the fat from their bottom line. Ford finally got rid of their premier brands and the Mercury lineup, Chrysler was sold off to the highest bidder (again) and GM dumped a few of its losing brands. But at this time GM came close to closing a deal with a Canadian firm for the purchase of the Opel/Vauxhall brands. The deal was set and it seemed that Canada was about to get not just one, but two of their own corporately owned companies with Magna at the helm. But to the surprise of everyone, GM pulled a fast one and killed the deal with Magna stating that breaking the brands would create more competition within their home market. The truth was that GM just couldn't sell their products to European customers and still needed the brands to help launch Cadillac and Chevrolet back into the E.U.
Fast forward a few years and you again have GM wanting to unload their European brands as by now Chevrolet has either made it or failed in a big way. But know GM can't afford to hold onto these dying brands as they will bring down their corporate fuel average. Leaving a bad taste in Magna's mouth, GM went out to find someone else who would take over the ailing brands and would also keep them out of their home market. That is where the PSA Group comes in as they have no desire to move other brands into the N.A. marketplace, as they want back in themselves. This in the end is how PSA will choose which brand they will use to enter the N.A. market.
As both the Citroen and Peugeot brands have already been hear before it seems odd to return a brand back to a place you left as it seems that not even the Fiat brand can stage a great comeback. So for PSA to make their true decision they have to look at what people are actually purchasing within the American marketplace.
Well for starters we really love our CUV's and trucks. But PSA Group doesn't have a good enough portfolio of these models to make a go of it in the N.A. market. So what's next then. Hey! Americans really love to show off and have a massive desire to one up their neighbors. Well that might be it, as it seems it would be best for PSA Group to launch the DS brand within the N.A. market, as they could start from scratch with an existing tried and true product line. And it also helps that the DS lineup consists of overpriced premium models which are build off of existing Citroen models. Add to this the desire of the N.A. market to get their hands on one of those DS3 hatchbacks and you have the makings of the perfect brand in which to enter the N.A. market. And if that doesn't help, the fact that Mexico has already been subjected to exposure from the DS and Citroen brands with the run of the WRC could help push the DS brand into this market.
So if that doesn't help you determine which brand you might see within the next few years, then I would say catch the next flight to France and go talk to your company executive for the PSA Group. As that is the only other way your going to find out which brand they will be bringing here.
#AutoLooks, @icsts88, AutoLooks.net
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