But it does mean Peugeot won't be coming to America.
After a 30 year hiatus, Peugeot was planning to make a comeback in America. Last year, PSA North America chief Larry Dominique said Peugeot was on track to start selling cars in America in 2023. Since then, however, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has merged with Groupe PSA, which also owns Opel, Citroen, and DS Autos, to create Stellantis, putting Peugeot's future in America doubt. But now the writing is on the wall.
During a conference call with Car and Driver, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares strongly suggested Peugeot won't be coming to the US after all. "For the time being, I don't think that is part of the things that we want to prioritize for the next time window," Tavares said.
This isn't a huge surprise. Selling Peugeot cars in America was always going to be risky when you look at how poorly Fiat is performing in the US. Sales have been so bad that Fiat now only sells the 500X in the US. Instead, Stellantis will focus on growing its existing Jeep, Dodge, Ram, and Chrysler US brands.
"I think it's better that we funnel the talent, the capital, and the engineering capability of our Stellantis company to the existing brands to improve what needs to be improved and to accelerate where we need to accelerate because we already have a very strong presence in this market," he added. A key part of this strategy will be reinvigorating the fledgling Chrysler brand, which currently only sells the Chrysler 300 sedan and the Pacifica and Voyager minivans.
Chrysler's lineup could be trimmed to two models as the 300's future is looking bleak and the model itself is very old. For the 2021 model year, the luxury sedan is only offered with two trims after Chrysler removed the high-spec Limited and 300C trims from the lineup.
Over the last few years, Chrysler's sales have rapidly declined. Last year, the manufacturer sold 110,000 units, down from 300,000 five years ago. Combined with the merger of FCA and Groupe PSA, there have been fears this could be the end of Chrysler, but Tavares is determined to reinvent the brand. "We consider that this brand is one of the three historical pillars of Stellantis [Fiat and Peugeot are the other two], and of course we are eager, and I am eager, to give this brand a future," Tavares said. Tavares didn't provide any further details, so we'll have to wait and see what the future holds for Chrysler.