Peugeot's future in the US is now in doubt.
It's been 30 years since Peugeot sold cars in America. Rumors have been rife that Groupe PSA wants Peugeot to make a comeback in America by 2023.
Despite the challenges brought by the pandemic, PSA North America chief Larry Dominique confirmed last August that these plans are still on track, paving the way for Peugeot to return to the US market in just a couple of years. However, Automotive News Europe reports the recent merger between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Groupe PSA, which also owns Opel, Citroen, and DS Autos, to create Stellantis has caused Peugeot CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato to reconsider plans to bring Peugeot to the US.
Tavares is expected to become CEO of the merged company, Stellantis, which will include FCA's Jeep, Ram, Dodge and Chrysler brands. "We were last speaking about [Peugeot's US re-entry] a year and a half ago, before Stellantis," said Imparato. "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 added that Peugeot doesn't want to overlap brands in the US. However, the possibility hasn't been ruled out completely, as Peugeot's plans to re-enter the US market are still "on the table" for the future.
However, entering the US market could be a risky move for Peugeot as the French automaker could suffer the same fate as Italy's Fiat. In the US, Fiat's sales have been so poor that the 500 Hatchback, 500L, and 124 Roadster have been discontinued, leaving the 500X as Fiat's only offering in the US. If Peugeot does eventually come to the US, it isn't clear which models will be sold here. The popular Peugeot 3008 crossover is a strong contender as PSA Group's research showed it could appeal to the US market. Alternatively, Stellantis could create unique models for the US market under the Peugeot brand.