PSA Group, the parent company of Citroën, DS Automobiles, Peugeot, Opel, and Vauxhall, wants to come back to the U.S. market with low-volume production models, likely on a similar method as Alfa Romeo’s return to the U.S. They are, however, also considering a ride-sharing model as well. In either case, PSA Group have begun the process of setting up a new North American headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
Across the five brands, they produce a bunch of Euro-chic small cars that we would love to see in a Stateside PSA comeback. Peugeot has been gone from the U.S. market since 1991, Citroën left in 1989 and while the Vauxhall brand has never been to the U.S., Opel had a short-lived U.S. jaunt from 1958 to 1975 under GM control, and some of their cars are still sold as Buicks today.
If the brand is adamant about making a return, here are nine cars we would be ecstatic to see on our roads.
Every new brand needs to launch with some luxury, making the largest DS model the logical place to begin. It’s kind of a cross between a CUV and a tall sedan that happens to have a hatch in the back. It’s got quirky French style, like that weird metal accent piece from the front quarter window down to the headlamp. If they added a bit of height to the car and called it a Lux SUV, they’d sell a mint.
Every dealership needs some utility vehicles. Similar to the Ford Transit, this could be sold as either a small family vehicle or a delivery-type vehicle. With the sliding rear doors, it’s certainly got that market in mind. I don’t quite know why this bit of advertising collateral on the Citroën website resonated with me, but it certainly sells the Berlingo Modutop. Plus it’s fun to say. Tag yourself, I’m the football man with a hat.
We’ve been harping on Citroën to bring the Cactus to the U.S. market for years. You love the Cactus, and the Cactus loves you. It’s not quite as quirky as it was before the facelift, but I, for one, still love this weirdo French quasi-SUV. This is the kind of esoteric style that would sell to coastal suburbanite hipsters, the kind of demographic who bought Volvo station wagons in the ‘80s.
I mean, come on, it’s got advanced comfort seats that float through the street. (In all seriousness, this advertising spot is absolutely inexplicable.)
If you have been paying attention for the last few years, you’ll know that nobody does a hot hatch like the French do. The 308 GTI is a monster of a small car with a 270-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Think French Focus ST, but better, and you’ll be in about the right place.
This little pocket rocket is going to be a harder sell in the U.S. market, as we’ve proven that we simply don’t buy miniature cars, regardless of performance level. If Ford can’t move Fiestas here, a relatively unknown brand has very little chance of striking a chord. That said, the 208 GTI is perhaps the best supermini hot hatch ever, with 208 horsepower from a 1.6-liter turbocharged four. EVO magazine loved it so much, they named it one of their Cars of the Year in 2017. Gimme gimme gimme!
If we’re being realistic, the 3008 SUV is the one that will move actual appreciable numbers in our market. It’s an actually good-looking SUV that looks equal parts tough and sexy. The grille is spectacular, and while I’m not a huge fan of the headlamp treatment here, it’s just weird looking enough to grab a section of the market large enough to give PSA a foothold here. Plus, it’s got Dakar Rally-winning provenance (sort of).
This supermini has enough style that it has the potential to completely steal the (admittedly small) market from Fiat and Smart. If they’re marketed well enough, the Adam may even be able to re-capture the quirky small car market that MINI abandoned as their models got larger. It’s cool and fun. Why not Adam?
The GTC is a great looking car, and with around 280 horsepower and nearly 300 lb-ft of torque to play with, the VXR version is a performance fiend’s best friend. There isn’t really anything in this market that looks as good as the GTC right now. Think of it like a Civic Type R coupe, but actually attractive.
This little hatchback is straight up weird looking, but it’s got just over 200 horsepower on tap, and that’s never a bad thing.