Next Gen Peugeot/Citroen Cars Are Being Developed With Americans in Mind
French automotive conglomerate Groupe PSA, which owns Peugeot, Citroen and Opel/Vauxhall, are giving the US market a serious look.
The company today announced the launch of its Free2Move smartphone app in Seattle. The app, which is available for iOs and Android, will allow users to compare the location, cost and other characteristics of available transportation options such as Car2Go, Zipcar and TravelCar. PSA will also add bike sharing services to the app shortly. The automaker says users can use Free2Move to schedule or immediately book the transportation service of their choice for a range of time periods.
Free2Move is only the start of Groupe PSA’s entry into the US market, Groupe PSA North America CEO Larry Dominique told us in a phone interview. After the rollout of the app to markets outside of Seattle, the automaker will work to implement some sort of car-sharing service in the US. The app and car sharing service will allow the automaker stockpile data and better understand the American consumer, how they travel and what type of vehicles they are interested in. That way when it comes time for it to sell cars in the US, it will have an extensive profile of your average American and how they get around. “The expectation is we will sell cars (in the US),” Dominique said.
To give you an idea of how serious PSA is about selling its cars in the US, Dominique also told us that PSA Groupe is developing its next-generation vehicles to meet various US regulations and standards. It’s interesting to note that PSA recently acquired General Motors Opel brand, which enjoyed a close relationship with Buick. For example, the new Opel Insignia and Buick Regal were developed alongside each other and share the same GM E2XX platform. We’re willing to bet PSA’s purchase of Opel was at least partly fuelled by its desire to learn more about making vehicles for North America.
Groupe PSA describes its entry into North America as a “10-year project,” so don’t look for a lion-badged French crossover on US roads anytime soon. Before the company tries to sell you a car, it will try to put you in one through a mobility service. Only then will it try to sell its cars to individual customers. It’s a lofty goal, but Groupe PSA already sells its cars in just about every major automotive market in the world. What makes the US so impenetrable?
Sam McEachern holds a diploma in journalism from St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario, and has been covering the automotive industry for over 5 years. He conducts reviews and writes AutoGuide's news content. He's a die-hard motorsports fan with a passion for performance cars of all sorts.
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