PSA Peugeot Citroën may have released its transformative five-year “Push to Pass” plan yesterday, but what it did not announce was that the name of the company itself would be changed. From now on, the French conglomerate will be known as the PSA Groupe, reflecting its expanded scope.
Replacing its current designation that dates back to 1991, the new name is said to symbolise the vitality of the three PSA brands (Peugeot, Citroën and the new DS) as well as the group’s other current and future businesses. The new logo was designed in-house by the Peugeot Design Lab, a global brand design studio that acts as a consultancy for other brands.
Even bigger news, mentioned in yesterday’s “Push to Pass” presentation but curiously missing from the press release, concerns the group’s plan to reenter the North American market – Citroën pulled out of the region in 1974, while Peugeot sold its last car there in 1991.
The plan is expected to take 10 years and will consist of three stages – the first phase, starting in 2017, will see PSA enter as a “mobility services” operator. Essentially, this would mean that the group will provide car-sharing services to those in the United States and Canada, although not necessarily with its own cars.
According to Autocar, PSA is currently considering a partnership with EV maker Bolloré Group, with which it builds the Bolloré Bluesummer and its twin, the Citroën E-Mehari, at a PSA plant in Rennes. A similar model is expected to lead PSA’s reintroduction into the North American market and enable the group to conduct customer research. “This is a way for us to understand the customers, the stakeholders, the regulations, to ensure we completely feel the pulse of that big market,” said PSA Groupe chairman Carlos Tavares.
Should that business become successful, the next step would be for the group to introduce its own vehicles into its car-sharing services, as soon as they comply with US regulations. “Of course those fleets will remain under our control, as is normal in car-sharing activities. We will be able to ensure that our own cars are meeting the expectations of the local consumers,” said Tavares.
Finally, if all goes well for PSA, the plan will move to the third and final stage of implementation – offering its own brand’s vehicles for sale in the region, eventually with “local sourcing.” Although Tavares did not mention any long-term sales targets for North America, he did say, “We will return to North America because we believe this is a place where we can make significant profit for PSA.
“This is a very thoughtful, progressive approach with a long-term perspective. We are doing this for the future generations of the company, starting from a very simple point, which is that if you want to be profitable and sustainable, you ought to do business in the three major markets in the world.”
The group’s relaunch is expected to be spearheaded by the luxury DS brand, as it could stand out amongst the premium German carmakers that dominate the market, as the only upmarket French brand.