After a 25-year absence, French automaker Peugeot is back in the United States, but not with a car as you would expect.
The company has introduced Free2Move, a car-sharing application that’s like Expedia for car-sharing programs, allowing users to compare the rates and availability of services like Car2Go, ZipCar, and TravelCar; choose between them; and book a car for minutes, hours or days).
Bike-sharing programs such as Spin Bike, Ofo and Lime Bike will also be part of the app.
Free2Move has actually been available in several European countries like France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and Sweden for a while, with some 400,000 downloads already. Brigitte Courtehoux, Peugeot’s senior vice president of mobility, stated:
“As we begin to add more providers and roll out to new cities, Free2Move will enrich the lives of Americans who embrace innovative, non-traditional forms of transportation.”
Free2Move is just a tiny step in Peugeot plan to first launch its own car-sharing program with Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel, and possibly Vauxhall cars before eventually selling cars in the United States and likely Canada sometime after 2020.
What Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel, and Vauxhall cars would you like to see in North America?
Peugeot Eyes 15 U.S. States, 4 Canadian Provinces For North American Return
French automaker Peugeot (PSA) is returning to North America but not in all the states and provinces at once.
The Paris-based firm has shosen 15 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces for its its initial return. During a press conference, Larry Dominique, the CEO of PSA Group North America, singled out California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Arizona, Washington, Massachusetts, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Maryland.
He didn’t reveal the 15th state, but together, they account for 62 percent of new car sales in America and are said to be the areas where motorists are open to the idea of buying an imported car. Dominique stated:
“Those states are of the most interest to me at this point in time because they’re high volume and import receptive.”
In Canada, the focus will be on British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec, four provinces that represent 87 percent of new car sales in the country.
PSA previously announced that it will enter the North America market by first introducing a car-sharing service named Free2Move. However, seeing as most of the cars in PSA’s current portfolio don’t comply with American regulations, the service will initially offer vehicles made by other automakers before it gradually injects its own cars into the mix. It plans to resume selling cars to private motorists sometime in 2026.
Dominique and his team are looking at alternative ways of selling cars — likely through online retailers — so don’t expect a large dealer network.
It hasn’t been revealed which models will come to the U.S. and Canada, but there are many to choose from. The PSA group of automotive brands currently consists of Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel, and Vauxhall.
GM Looking to Sell Opel, Vauxhall to France’s PSA
General Motor’s is weighing its options to improve its situation in Europe, and one of them is potentially selling off its European Opel and Vauxhall brands to France’s PSA Group.
The American automaker has confirmed that it has been in talks with PSA Peugeot Citroen to unload its Opel and Vauxhall divisions, but nothing has been finalized. A company presser stated:
“PSA Group and General Motors confirm they are exploring numerous strategic initiatives aiming at improving profitability and operational efficiency, including a potential acquisition of Opel Vauxhall by PSA.”
GM added that “there can be no assurance that an agreement will be reached,” indicating that Opel and Vauxhall could remain under its umbrella.
GM and PSA entered into a partnership in 2012 when the former acquired a 7 percent stake in the latter for approximately $400 million. It was expected that the partnership would lead to $2 billion in purchasing an join development synergies annually, but those expectations were not met.
Although Opel and Vauxhall have been two of the weakest members of GM’s family, they have performed relatively well in recent months (they lost $300 million in Europe in 2016, an improvement over the $800 million loss recorded in 2015). And the fact that the Chevrolet brand is no longer a player in Europe means the company will be for all intents and purposes exiting the European market altogether if it sells off the division.
I am as surprised as you probably are at this development. Would it be smart for General Motors to sell off Opel and Vauxhall to PSA Peugeot Citroen? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
A Look at Top Gear’s Funny Analysis of Peugeot
In 2015, Top Gear took apart the new Peugeot cars and spent the episode poking fun at the drivers. It is one of the funnier Top Gear episodes of recent times (maybe not for Peugeot drivers), so it is worth giving it a second look, especially to see if the French manufacturer still deserves the abuse it took at the hands of Jeremy Clarkson and his crew.
A Harsh Analysis
The episode saw Clarkson and May pay homage to Peugeot by looking back through the products the company made before becoming involved with cars. They then looked at a few of their greatest creations, such as the 504, 205 T16 and the 205 GTI. Top Gear then criticised Peugeots decision to make the change from making sporty cars to “rubbish” ones by acting as modern“Peugeot drivers” in the 307 CC and the 407. Through exaggerated driving, the duo attempted to illustrate just how mundane and average driving a Peugeot was as a motoring experience.
Top Gear claimed that the French manufacturer was guilty of making cars that are unimaginative, but this is not the case. The last few years has proved this, with Peugeot releasing vehicles such as the 208, 2008 and the 308. These have all won various awards and have sold particularly well. They won the European Car of the Year award in 2014 with the 308, they also were ranked second lowest for average CO2 emissions in 2013 and 2014.
The Top Gear analysis of Peugeot was over the top and very harsh, to be frank. The automaker has always been known to make reliable cars and continue to produce high-quality vehicles that are ideal for families and city use. Peugeot tends to produce stylish but not overstated cars that offer good value, contain impressive technology, place a strong focus on reducing emissions to appease environmentally-conscious motorists.
Peugeot is a trusted and popular manufacturer; as such, many of their new and used cars can be found on the market, particularly in Europe. Reputable dealerships like Robins & Day usually have various models available in different trims, making it easy for you to find what you are looking for. The 208, in particular, is very popular due to its sleek and compact hatchback design, respectable performance and low emissions.
Peugeot is one of the most reliable, forward-thinking car manufacturers and a great choice for any motorist seeking a new vehicle. Top Gear’s analysis was exaggerated and over the top, but it was an entertaining episode and a great example of how the show (used to) have great humour. Here’s a taste…