It’s a big step towards an even bigger goal for the French auto giants

Welcome to Atlanta, PSA Group. More importantly, welcome back to the good ‘ol U.S.A. The French auto group took its biggest step in returning to America after announcing that Atlanta will become the location of its North American headquarters. Don’t expect PSA to start shipping Peugeot, Citroen, and DS models tomorrow, though. The new HQ is the first of many steps the group still needs to make to achieve its goal of returning to the market after decades of absence.

The French are Coming! PSA chooses ATL as it's North American Home High Resolution Exterior
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The acquisition of the new headquarters in Atlanta is a major development because there’s no turning back from spending that much money to find and fund an HQ in the U.S.

If you’ve been clamoring to see Peugeot, Citroen, and DS models hit the streets of America, take comfort knowing that those dreams are one step closer to becoming reality. The acquisition of the new headquarters in Atlanta is a major development because there’s no turning back from spending that much money to find and fund an HQ in the U.S. It’s happening, folks. Groupe PSA is coming back.

According to the French company, the new Atlanta headquarters will be operational by February, a surprisingly quick turn-around given the magnitude of the move. It helped that PSA found a city like Atlanta that can quickly help acclimate the brand back into the U.S. “We looked at every aspect of the Atlanta community and found it to be the most suitable location for us,” Larry Dominique, President of PSA North America, said in a statement. “While the overall business environment, standard of living, and university system played an important part in our decision, our unique needs in terms of technology, mobility innovation, and car culture ultimately identified Atlanta as our perfect choice.”

A core team from Groupe PSA is already in Atlanta to lay the foundation for the company’s product strategy in the country. PSA is taking a cautious approach at building its brand, especially in a market that hasn’t seen Peugeots, Citroens, and DS models for so long. Previous reports have said that PSA isn’t keen on offering any of its models on sale as soon as it arrives. Instead, the first exposure of these models will come via car-sharing service Free2Move. Under this setup, Americans won’t be able to buy any PSA model, but they will get the chance to drive around in one. Even better, they can take advantage of the service and “test” all the available models the French automaker will include in the service.

The French are Coming! PSA chooses ATL as it's North American Home High Resolution Exterior
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PSA is developing its next-generation vehicles with an eye towards making them available in the American market

Once Americans become acclimated to seeing — and driving — PSA models, that’s when the company moves to the next phase of its strategy: retail sales. It’s unclear how long PSA is going to take before moving to this stage of its plan, but don’t expect it to happen for another four or five years. At the moment, PSA is developing its next-generation vehicles with an eye towards making them available in the American market. That includes ensuring that the cars are compatible with American safety standards.

Looking ahead, it’s safe to assume that Groupe PSA’s first wave of available models in the U.S. will likely be crossovers and SUVs. That could include the 3008 and 5008 SUVs from Peugeot and the C3 and C3 Aircross from Citroen. The rising popularity of hot hatchbacks should also give DS a chance to showcase its models, including the DS 3, DS 3 Cabrio, and DS 4.

References

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