Peugeot's Return To America Was Fun While It Lasted

Illustration for article titled Peugeot's Return To America Was Fun While It Lasted
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Remember when Peugeot said it was coming back to the U.S.? Well, let’s just say that may not be a priority anymore.

Carlos Tavares, CEO of Groupe PSA, said in 2018 that the company would be making its next generation of cars U.S.-compliant. There was only upside in the U.S., Tavares said then, now nearly three whole years ago.

Here’s what Peugeot’s CEO is saying now. From Automotive News:

“We were last speaking about [Peugeot’s U.S. re-entry] a year and a half ago, before Stellantis,” [Peugeot CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato] said. “We can’t not take into account that in the coming days Peugeot will be part of this new world. I imagine in the coming months due to the new strategy we will have to adapt and reconsider all elements, including this one.”

Imparato said it was important that the company didn’t overlap brands. He said, however, that the possible reintroduction of Peugeot into the US was still “on the table” for the future.

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These are the kind of vague promises that make you think this might never happen, and you can’t really blame them. Peugeot left the U.S. in 1991, saying that getting its cars certified was too expensive and, you know, they weren’t selling that many of them to really justify the exercise anyway, or 4,292 cars in 1990.

Now the timing is, if anything, far worse. Peugeot is largely a car company, as in actual cars, not big trucks and SUVs. So it wouldn’t be a surprise if Peugeot came here in the current environment and fell flat on its face, given that gas is cheap and people still want big trucks and SUVs.

I’ll leave such decisions up to the people who are paid to make them and instead note that Peugeot’s coming here would definitely be interesting, about the only real thing I’m biased toward.

Also, the Peugeot Sport Engineered 508 looks incredible.

News Editor at Jalopnik. 2008 Honda Fit Sport.

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DISCUSSION

Good. Better to use Peugeot’s more America-ready models, suitably re-engined, to expand the Chrysler lineup than relaunch yet another brand and another dealer channel.