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article imagePeugeot eyes American return

By Joe Duarte     Oct 8, 2014 in Technology
Paris - Is Peugeot set to return to the North American market? With a new CEO who has experience in the marketplace and a vision toward pushing its luxury cars, the answer seems to be “Yes!”
PSA Peugeot Citroën is now headed by Carlos Tavares, a Portuguese national who joined Renault in 1981 and ascended through the Renault-Nissan ranks after the two joined forces. He took over Nissan’s North American operations in 2009 and returned to Renault in 2011 as its global Chief Operations Officer and second in command at the Renault-Nissan alliance, behind Carlos Ghosn.
In the fall of 2013, Tavares expressed an interest in leading a car company, which wasn’t likely to happen any time soon with Ghosn firmly entrenched at the top of the Renault-Nissan ladder. Shortly thereafter the two parted company and Tavares signed on with Peugeot in 2014.
Tavares has the experience in running a multi-cultural car company (Peugeot Citroën is now part of a partnership with Chinese manufacturer Dongfeng and the French government) and experience in the North American market, particularly with luxury brand Infiniti (which he was influential in making a global brand).
As such, it seems Tavares is readying a return to the North American market with Peugeot Citroën’s upscale DS brand.
Speaking at the recent Paris auto show, PSA Peugeot Citroën’s COO Yves Bonnefont told Automotive News of the company’s desire “to make DS a global premium brand; and you cannot be global without the U.S.”
Originally a Citroën model (the model most associated with the Citroën name, outside of the iconic 2CV), DS became its own brand in 2010 and now has five models in the stable — the DS3 city-car, sub-compact DS4, compact hatchback DS5 and wagon DS 5LS, and the compact utility DS 6WR — none of which are compliant with US standards.
That would mean model revamps, which traditionally occur on a five-year cycle, and is the reason why the company is looking at 2020 as the likely date for North American re-emergence.
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