The PSA-FCA Merger Could Bring Some Cool Cars to the United States
Could Peugeot be back in the U.S. sooner than we thought? And Can DS take on the likes of BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes?by Robert Moore, on LISTEN 01:10
FCA and PSA are merging; this much we know is true. With this in mind, and the reminder that Peugeot has been itching to get back into the U.S. market, we’ve realized that this new merger with FCA could streamline and speed up that process in a big way. Furthermore, it opens the door for brands like Citroen, Vauxhall, and DS to ease into the U.S. market without taking too large of a risk. So, if this all plays out in the most favorable way possible, what cool cars could end up on U.S. roads in the near future? Let’s dig into it and look at the possibilities.
Backstory on the PSA-FCA Merger
Word is coming down the line that FCA has finally found a company to merge with, and it looks like it will be the PSA Groupe – parent company of brands like Peugeot, Citroen, DS Automobiles, Opel, and Vauxhall.
This 50-50 merger will create what will come to be known as the world's fourth-largest automaker with a combined revenue stream of around $190 million based on 2018 results for both parent companies.
There’s no word on what the new company will be called once the merger is complete –maybe PSAFCA, FCAPSA, or even PSFCA, among others – but both companies have vowed that the merger will mean no plant closings or loss of jobs. It does, however, open new doors into new markets for certain brands, with a large importance placed on the entry of brands like Peugeot, Citroen, and DS into the U.S. market. Educated guessing puts these companies on track for a U.S. market arrival within the next 5-10 years, and there are some pretty cool, competitive cars that could shake up the market in more ways than one.
Peugeot Cars Coming to the U.S.
Peugeot 208 and 2008
The Peugeot 208 is the brand’s entry-level model, and it is, honestly, a sporty-looking little hatchback.
In the U.S. it wouldn’t have a lot of competition, but it would have to take on models like the Chevy Sonic and Honda Fit.
In Europe the 208 is offered with your choice of gasoline or diesel engines, with power ranging anywhere between 75 horsepower and as much as 129 horsepower. Alternatively, it’s available as an EV that delivers as much as 136 horsepower and up to 211 miles on the WLTP scale. Pricing for it starts out at around $16,600 and climbs to as much as around $35,00 for the range-topping GT EV.
|Peugeot 208 Active||$21,000|
|Peugeot 208 Allure||$24,450|
|Peugeot 208 GT Line||$26,800|
|Peugeot 208 GT||$38,400|
The Peugeot 2008, on the other hand, is a different story. It takes all of the design cues found on and in the new 208 and delivers them in a slightly larger, more spacious crossover package.
Official specs for the all-new 2008 haven’t been released quite yet, but logic dictates that it will be offered with the same powertrains found in the 208. So, expect between 75 and as much as 136 horsepower. The chances are that the diesel engines won’t be available in the U.S., but there’s still a possibility that they may. Pricing for the previous-gen 2008 ranged between $18,700 and around $26,000 at current exchange rates. Keep in mind that when Peugeot comes to the U.S, this will be one of the first models to hit the market as the company will need to take on the Chevy Trax, Ford EcoSport, and the Honda HR-V, among others.
|Peugeot 2008 Active||$23,600|
|Peugeot 2008 Signature||$24,400|
|Peugeot 2008 Allure Premium||$26,350|
|Peugeot 2008 GT Line||$28,350|
Peugeot 508 and 5008
Like the 208, the Peugeot 508 is all-new, but it will actually see some more competition here in the United States.
It will face off the Chevy Impala, Dodge Charger, and Toyota Avalon, among others.
The 508 in its newest form is sportier inside than out, but it’s still an attractive proposition on the market and, due to the higher pricing of some of the competition – and the fact that neither Honda, Ford, or Mazda have full-size sedans – the Peugeot 508 could stand a chance at domination here. In its base form, it offers just 131 horsepower but that offering climbs to as high as 225 ponies in models equipped with the hybrid drivetrain. Pricing ranges anywhere between about $33,500 and around $48,500, however, pricing in the States could be considerably lower to help increase brand identity early on.
|Peugeot 508 Active||$33,500|
|Peugeot 508 Allure||$39,500|
|Peugeot 508 GT Line||$42,000|
|Peugeot 508 GT||$48,000|
The 5008 has fallen to a fate similar to that of the 2008 in that Peugeot hasn’t introduced the 508’s new design to it quite yet.
But, when it does, the 5008 is going to be a real looker.
It will feature all of that high-end technology with luxury almost good enough to take on the German 3, and it should offer the same range of power between 131 horsepower and 225 horsepower depending on the engine and tuning. In the U.S., the 5008 will find tons of competition, including the Chevy Traverse, Mazda CX-5, Honda Passport, and the Ford Edge, but the list is much, much longer. Pricing for the 5008 starts at around $36,000 and climbs to as much as nearly $52,000 at current exchange rates.
|Peugeot 5008 Active||$36,000|
|Peugeot 5008 Allure||$38,700|
|Peugeot 5008 GT Line||$$41,200|
|Peugeot 5008 GT Line Premium||$43,500|
|Peugeot 5008 GT||$52,000|
Citroen Cars Coming to the U.S.
The Citroen C3 is an interesting little subcompact hatchback that would compete in the U.S. against the likes of the Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, and Chevy Sonic.
We would throw the Hyundai Accent into the mix here, but it’s only available as a tiny sedan here, so that one is out of the running, but you could look to the Nissan Versa Note if you really wanted to. The C3 is cool only because of how it will stand out in the market as it’s customizable with cool and unique accents inside and out. The downside is that you’ll probably find materials and build quality isn’t as on par with brands like Chevy, Honda, or even sister company Peugeot. The good news is that the C3 is reasonably priced, and the whole range of pricing ranges between $20,600 to $23,350 for the range-topping Origins trim at current exchange rates.
|Citroen C3 Feel||$20,600|
|Citroen C3 Feel Nav Edition||$21,600|
|Citroen C3 Flair||$22,000|
|Citroen C3 Origins||$22,3000|
|Nissan Versa Note||$15,650|
The C3 Aircross is, basically, the SUV version of the C3, but it’s really more of a hatchback on raised suspension with a slightly wider C-Pillar.
Much like the C3 hatchback, the C3 Aircross’s biggest selling point is the fact that it can be customized from the factory with accent colors inside and out. On the outside, you can even accent the mirrors and roof rails, among other things. The interior can have the same type of customization but to a somewhat lesser extent. Despite a modern infotainment system, though, the interior is rather subdued compared to more premium models on the market, so this “mini SUV,” as it’s classified in Europe, will compete against models like the Ford EcoSport, Hyundai Kona, and Nissan Kicks, among others. Pricing for the C3 Aircross starts out at nearly $24,000 and climbs to nearly $26,000 for the range-topping Origins trim. As is the case with some of the models presented here, pricing may be lower to facilitate a better initial brand image and better competing against already established players.
|Citroen C3 Aircross Feel||$24,000|
|Citroen C3 Aircross Flair||$26,600|
|Citroen C3 Aircross Origins||$25,700|
The Citroen C4 was restyled in 2018 and is now considered a hatchback by the company despite the fact that it’s really just a low-slung crossover. It features the traditional Citroen airbump panels on the sides in an all-new way, but what really makes it stand out is the sloping roof, one of the few things that actually differentiate it from the C3 Aircross.
Make no mistake; the C4 is every bit a subcompact crossover, so it competes against the same general lineup as the C3 Aircross.
Be that as it may, it’ll actually compete better with models like the Buick Encore, Jeep Renegade, and Mazda CX-3, all of which feature a somewhat sportier silhouette. The C4 Cactus is available in two different trim levels – Feel and Flair – and is priced at either $25,400 or roughly $27,900, respectively. Expect power output on the U.S. market to be somewhere in the area of 140 horsepower or so.
|Citroen C4 Cactus Feel||$25,400|
|Citroen C4 Cactus Flair||$27,900|
Read our full review on the Citroen C4 Cactus Hatchback
Citroen markets the C5 Aircross as a compact crossover when in all reality, it will compete more on the midsize market than anywhere else here in the U.S.
It’s not quite as long as models like the Toyota Highlander, but it should still carry its own weight while it’s about the same size as the midsized Honda Pilot – these will be two of its primary competitors.
The interior and exterior styling of the C5 could give it a step up on said competition and a single four-cylinder engine on offer; it can be had with either 167 horsepower or 201 horsepower – enough to keep it efficient enough for the U.S. market while providing decent get up and go. In the U.K., it starts out at around $31,350 (at current exchange rates), which puts it on par with the Honda Pilot at $31,550 and the Highlander at $31,830. Given the unique design, premium-like interior features, and competitive pricing, the C5 Aircross could present quite a threat to this overcrowded market
|Citroen C5 Aircross||$31,350|
Read our full review on the Citroen C5 Aircross SUV
DS Automobiles Coming to the U.S.
The DS7 is a compact SUV that’s sold by Citroen’s Premium luxury arm, DS. It’s available with a Puretech 180 or Puretech 225 four-cylinder engine that are good about 178 or 222 horsepower, respectively.
Pair the premium and attractive exterior with a rather upscale interior, and you quickly realize that the DS 7 is no run-of-the-mill Citroen.
Much like in Europe, the DS7 will compete against the likes of the BMW X1 and Lexus NX here in the States and based on its performance alone the Puretech 225 will compete admirably with most of the X1 and NX lineup, falling short by no more than 20 horsepower against only the range-toppers in the competing lineups. The DS7 can also be had as a plug-in hybrid that offers up as much as 37 miles in all-electric range. The Puretech 180 model can hit 62.1 mph in 10.2 seconds while the 225 can hit the same sprint in 8.3 seconds, figures that are also within a second of the X1 and NX. The only downside to the DS 7 is its pricing, which will likely be adjusted heavily if it comes to the U.S. market. It starts out at £32,125 in the U.K., which translates to roughly $41,541. With the X1 starting at $35,200 and the NX at $36,720, DS will have to meet or beat their price to even stand a chance against these well-established players.
Read our full review on the DS7 SUV
The DS E-Tense concept is a longshot, but DS could really make its mark if it brings the E-Tense Concept into production and places it on the U.S. market.
AS of right now, it would have to compete against the R8 E-Tron, but I think it could also be considered a competitor to the Tesla Model S and whatever other electric supercars are on the market. When the concept debuted in 2016, it had a 402-horsepower electric motor that was also good for 381 pound-feet of torque, but that could easily be adjusted to take on whatever other electric sports cars hit the market in the next decade. It certainly has the exterior and interior styling to take on anything the best automakers in the world can throw at it. DS claimed it could sprint to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and would top out at 155 mph, but if it added a more powerful motor, Tesla- and Taycan-rivaling sub-three-second sprints are easily doable, as is breaking the 200-mph threshold. This is one we’re really hoping to see!
|Engine||100% electric 402 HP|
|Acceleration||4.5 seconds from 0 to 100 km|
|Range||360km (urban cycle) or 310km (mixed cycle)|
|Maximum torque||381 LB-FT|
|Top speed||250 KM/H (155 MPH)|
Read our full review on the 2016 DS E-Tense Concept
The Divine DS Concept was pretty futuristic at the time of its debut in 2014, but fast forward 5 years to 2019, and it suddenly seems way more feasible.
Now, this car was compact in its nature, so we originally said it would compete with models like the BMW M135i and Renault Megane RS 265, but we’re thinking that DS could scale up the size and use it to compete against models like the Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo, for example. With a nice EV powertrain, it could certainly give Porsche a run for its money, especially if you take into account its interior and exterior design. This would give DS a fighting chance on the U.S. premium, luxury, and sports car market, and the unique design would make it stand out in a way that we couldn’t not want one. The original concept was powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that was good for 270 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque, so if DS didn’t go all-electric with the production model, it would at least have to go up on the power – at least to 350-400 horsepower if it wanted a fighting chance.
|Engine||1.6 THP turbocharged direct-injection petrol|
|Horsepower||270 HP @ 6,000 RPM|
|Torque||243 LB-FT @ 1,900 - 5,500 RPM|
Read our full review on the 2014 Divine DS Concept
PSA in the U.S.A – The Takeaway
When the merger between FCA and PSA is finalized, it opens a lot of doors for PSA companies to work their way into the U.S., and it could be a lot cheaper for most of the brands to do so since FCA already has a strong presence here. Certain brands could be sold alongside other U.S. brands. DS models, for example could be sold side-by-side with Alfa Romeo or, even better yet, Chrysler – you know, since it’s meant to be a premium\luxury brand. Models like Peugeot could be sold along side Dodge or Jeep, especially the SUV models.
Then again, FCA could put up the capital to initiate a dealer network for one or more of PSA’s brands. The possibilities really are endless, but there’s a good chance that we could see Peugeot, DS, and Citroen all make their way into the U.S. market a lot sooner than ever expected, if even at all. I would expect Peugeot to step in first, with DS to follow sometime down the road. We could, if everything plays out just right, have most of PSA’s brands thriving right here in the United States. Bet some of you older folks didn’t think you’d see a Peugeot dealer on U.S. soil again, did you? It’s only be 20 years or so.