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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.


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.


French Automaker Peugeot Receives Chinese Bailout

Family reduces stake to secure Dongfeng’s investment.

by on Feb.19, 2014

Peugeot and Dongfeng inked a $1.1 billion deal giving the French automaker a much-needed infusion of cash.

Struggling French automaker Peugeot is receiving a helping hand from halfway around the world with Chinese investor Dongfeng investing 800 million Euros, or $1.1 billion, in the European firm.

It’s a critical step for PSA Peugeot Citroen, which has been facing increasing problems – and mounting losses – in the face of Europe’s worst economic crisis in decades. There have been concerns Peugeot might not be able to survive without outside help, a situation that has led the heirs to the Peugeot family to sharply reduce their stake in the maker in return for Dongfeng’s help.

No Games!

In turn, Dongfeng gets to bolster its position in its home market – now the largest automotive market in the world – gain access to much-needed technology, and potentially put it in a position where it could expand beyond China’s borders. A number of Chinese makers have been hoping to expand into Europe and North America but so far have faced numerous obstacles along the way. (more…)

GM Sells Stake in Peugeot

Move follows decision to scale back – but continue alliance.

by on Dec.12, 2013

Peugeot and GM maintain a more distant relationship than originally planned.

Hours after announcing it would scale back – but continue – its alliance with PSA Peugeot Citroen, General Motors revealed it was selling off its 7% stake in the troubled French automaker.

Without those economic ties, industry observers say there appears to be even less of a reason for the two manufacturers to continue any long-term affiliation beyond the two product sharing deals and a few smaller arrangements they currently plan to move ahead with.

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GM initially purchased its stake in Peugeot last year at a time when the two makers expected they could achieve $2 billion in savings by working together.  Both companies have been losing billions in Europe in recent years. But since initially inking their alliance both have shifted strategies, raising ongoing questions about whether they could meet their original goals.


GM Scales Back Alliance with France’s Peugeot

by on Dec.12, 2013

The Peugeot HR1 battery car concept. Peugeot itself now needs a charge-up.

General Motors is scaling back its once-promising alliance with French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen – though it says it will move ahead with the partnership in a bid to trim the losses of its own struggling European operations.

The announcement comes barely a week after GM said it would pull its Chevrolet brand out of the European market to put more emphasis on reviving its German-based Opel division.  There had been growing questions about whether GM and Peugeot would continue the partnership they once said could save about $2 billion in shared costs by 2018.

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Moving ahead, noted a GM release, the program will continue to focus on the “main pillars (of) purchasing and logistics, focused on Europe, and extends into cross manufacturing.” But the partners will reduce the number of products they will jointly develop, going forward each now intending to produce one vehicle for the other by 2016.


Former Renault/Nissan Star Carlos Tavares Lands Peugeot’s Top Job

Faces major challenges at floundering French automaker.

by on Nov.27, 2013

Carlos Tavares, seen during his years at Renault/Nissan with a Nissan Leaf battery car.

Less than three months after falling from grace as the likely successor to Renault/Nissan Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn, Carlos Tavares has resurfaced – and he won’t have to move very far, taking on a new assignment as the CEO of the troubled PSA Peugeot Citroen.

Considered one of the global auto industry’s rising stars, the 55-year-old Tavares had a potentially career-ruining flame-out in August when he announced during an interview that he’d like to leave his job as chief operating officer of Renault for a job as CEO of one of Detroit’s Big Three makers.  That didn’t sit well with his then-boss Ghosn who quickly gave Tavares his walking papers.

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Exactly why Tavares spoke out was unclear.  So was the potential fallout, some observers wondering if the Portugese-born executive was simply letting the world know he wanted a better job – others warned that Tavares might have made himself untouchable.  But it turns out his timing was close to perfect and his method far from madness.


Troubled Peugeot Selling 30% Stake to Chinese Partner

Move could short-circuit French maker’s alliance with GM.

by on Oct.09, 2013

Peugeot's next 508 could have a much more significant Chinese influence if a proposed deal with Dongfeng goes through.

Floundering French automaker PSA Peugeot-Citroen may soon be getting a new accent, reports from China suggesting one of the booming Asian nation’s larger domestic manufacturers, Dongfeng Motor, is set to purchase a 30% stake in Peugeot for about $1.6 billion.

But the proposed deal could create some problems on a global scale.  Among other things, it might short-circuit the relationship Peugeot has already established with General Motors. And it could prove problematic considering Dongfeng is already partnered with the French maker’s rival, the Renault-Nissan alliance.

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PSA Peugeot-Citroen has been one of the automotive manufacturers hardest hit by the ongoing European recession.  It lost more than $6.5 billion last year and remains deep in the red for at least the first half of 2013.  The maker has already said it will close one key plant in an effort to cope with worsening capacity utilization issues – despite strong resistance from the French government.


VW Posts Solid Second Quarter Despite Net Profit Decline

Rival Peugeot slides deeper into a hole - yet investors cheer.

by on Jul.31, 2013

VW's net fell sharply - but that was largely due to its takeover of Porsche.

At first glance, it might have seemed a tough quarter for Volkswagen AG. After all, the maker’s net profit tumbled by half compared to year-ago levels. But the 2% jump in operating earnings is what analysts and investors are focusing on.

VW’s net was hammered largely by the anticipated, one-time costs associated with its takeover of German sports car manufacturer Porsche. The operating income, up 1.8% year-over-year, tells how the maker was able to hold its own in what it called a “difficult market environment.”

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In fact, an even clearer picture of that environment emerged from the earnings report posted by VW’s French rival PSA Peugeot Citroen which saw its losses climb to 426 million euros for the first half of the year due to declining European car sales and a strike by workers protesting its plans to close factories, reduce capacity and eliminate 8,000 jobs.


Tesla Market Capitalization Hits $15 Bil, Passes Fiat and Peugeot – Combined

Battery carmaker soars to new record as Wall St. rethinks auto stocks.

by on Jul.15, 2013

Tesla demonstates its new battery-swap capability.

There are plenty of folks who still don’t see much of a future for electric vehicles. Clearly, they aren’t the ones investing in Tesla Motors.

The Silicon Valley battery-car maker reached a critical milestone Monday morning when its shares surged just enough to push its total market capitalization up to an even $15 billion dollars.  And though Wall Street pushed back as the morning dragged on, Tesla stock still was running more than five times its 52-week low.

A Good Investment!

That means the maker, which only just posted its first-ever quarterly profit during the January to March period, now has a market cap equal to Italian automaker Fiat and France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen – combined.

That’s all the more significant considering that Tesla sold a grand total of about 4,750 vehicles during the first quarter. And while that was a good 5% above the battery-carmaker’s original forecast, that’s little more than the number of Ford F-Series pickups sold in two days and significantly fewer Toyota Camrys sold in a week.


Peugeot Looks to GM as Potential White Knight

GM plays hard-to-get after past alliances all floundered.

by on Jun.28, 2013

Despite the addition of new products like the 3008 diesel-hybrid, Peugeot continues to stumble as the European slump drags on.

After more than 200 years in control of the company that still bears its name, the Peugeot family appears willing to cede control of PSA Peugeot Citroen in a bid to attract a white knight to rescue the fast-failing French automaker.

And with several potential partners, including Chinese carmaker Dongfeng, showing a notable lack of interest, Peugeot CEO Philippe Varin is now sounding out General Motors, according to several reports from Europe.  GM and Peugeot announced an alliance in early 2012 that the makers claimed would save them billions of dollars over the coming year through common purchasing, parts production and other efforts. But the proposal coming from the French maker would take things a significant step further.

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Like Peugeot, GM has been hard hit by the European economic crisis and recently announced the latest in a series of turnaround plans for its Continental operations – which have lost more than $16 billion in 13 consecutive years of red ink – including $1.8 billion in 2012. But with European car sales now dipping to their lowest levels in two decades, analysts are skeptical about how quickly it will be able to implement that plan.