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Plotting a Return: PSA Peugeot Citroen Wants Back into the US

Unusual approach would start with car-sharing and mobility programs.

by on Apr.06, 2016

PSA CEO Carlos Tavares previously spent time in the U.S. running Nissan's American operations.

A quarter-century after it abandoned the American market, much to its later regret, France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen is planning its return, according to the maker’s CEO.

But rather than simply opening up a new dealer network, a strategy has had marginal benefits for Fiat, the Italian maker that also quite the U.S. market, PSA is looking at alternatives that could include using mobility and car-sharing programs to establish an American presence, suggested Chief Executive Carlos Tavares, during a presentation to analysts and investors.

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The former second-in-command at French rival Renault, Tavares has been credited with orchestrating an unexpected turnaround at PSA. It is now generating its strongest profits since the turn of the millennium, notes Automotive News, after nearly plunging into bankruptcy just two years ago.

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Peugeot Mulling Return to the U.S.

French maker likely to focus on upscale DS brand.

by on Oct.08, 2014

The DS Divine Concept offers a hint of the distinctive French styling Peugeot could bring to the U.S.

It’s been more than two decades since Peugeot pulled out of the U.S. market, a decision it has openly regretted ever since. But now, after years of mulling its options, the struggling French maker appears ready to stage a return.

Several top officials discussed their options during appearances at the Paris Motor Show in recent days, and the indications are that any revival would likely focus on Peugeot’s most exclusive brand, DS. The maker gave a hint of what Americans might expect with the unveiling of the new Divine concept car at this year’s auto show.

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“We want to make DS a global premium brand, and you cannot be global without the U.S.,” Yves Bonnefont, the CEO of the highline brand, told trade journal Automotive News.

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Citroen Show Car to Deliver 141 MPG

Nothing prickly about the Citroen C4 Cactus Airflow 2L.

by on Sep.19, 2014

The Citroen C4 Cactus Airflow 2L is as large as a Ford Focus but lighter than a Mazda Miata.

It’s as big as a Ford Focus, lighter than a Mazda Miata, and can cut through the air nearly as efficiently as a jet. But what’s likely to stand out most about the new Citroen C4 Cactus Airflow concept is its fuel economy, an estimated 141 miles per gallon.

While that’s not quite up there with the 261 mpg Volkswagen XL1, or even the new 235 mpg Renault Eolab prototype, the new Citroen appears to be perhaps the most practical of the three models – though it remains to be seen if the French maker can actually bring the Cactus Airflow to production.

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Set to debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show, the full name of the new concept vehicle is the Citroen C4 Cactus Airflow 2L – the little fillip at the end is arguably the most significant detail, as it positions the latest Cactus concept as a so-called two-liter car. In other words, it burns that much fuel to go 100 kilometers. For metrically challenged Americans, think of going more than 70 miles on barely a half gallon of gas.

To get there isn’t easy, of course – at least not for Citroen designers and engineers.

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Citroen Delivers Another Reason to Want Them Back

DS5 completes new premium range.

by on Sep.16, 2011

The new Citroen DS5 - shown here at the French maker's stand.

To check out the new offerings from most makers at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, reporters have had to squeeze in and wait for the requisite press briefings.  But with Citroen’s newest model all they had to do was catch the shuttle.

That’s because the French maker’s new DS5 was put into early action on the grounds of the Frankfurt Messe moving the media between the show’s 11 halls.

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The new DS5 – which is offered with three different powertrains, including a hybrid – helps complete the new upscale brand-within-a-brand.  And it raises again the question why Citroen has yet to try to stage a return to the U.S. market.

The Citroen DS5 hatchbacks in the shuttle fleet – all painted a distinctive metallic white – feature the new Hybrid4 powertrain which, unlike most other maker’s systems combines a battery drive with diesel power to maximize fuel savings.

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Citroen Rebuilds Brand With New DS Line

From stodgy to stylish.

by on Oct.07, 2010

The DS4 is the latest entry into Citroen's new brand-within-a-brand.

Few cars are more emblematic of quirky French design than the classic Citroen DS9.  Its sweeping curves predated by decades the coupe-like sedan styling that has become so popular today, and was echoed in the unusual technology within, such as the car’s hydraulic suspension and “champignon,” or mushroom-like brake button.

But these days, Citroen has earned, if anything, a reputation for stodgy, uninspired styling, as well as an assortment of quality issues that have led to a steady decline in sales and share.  Until recently, anyway.

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With the introduction of the new DS4, at this year’s Paris Motor Show, the French maker hopes to continue building momentum started with the earlier launch of its small DS4, the first in what is expected to be a new brand-within-a-brand targeting a decidedly more hip, affluent and youthful buyer than the typical Citroen customer.

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