French cars are supposed to be coming, here's how we would make the sell!
We've heard rumors that Citroen and Peugeot, both part of the PSA group, want to return to the United States. Peugeot exited the US market in 1991 and Citroen left in the 1970s. According to rumors, Citroen would kick off the French return to the US with its DS line of vehicles. Citroen currently sells the DS3, DS4, DS5 hatchbacks and DS6 SUV. All come badged with a DS logo rather than the traditional Citroen symbol, and feature different styling from their equivalent sister car. These models are interesting, but could they succeed in the US?
The DS brand is meant to be a premium brand, and we don't think that the current lineup would appeal to US consumers. We really like the styling of the DS hatchbacks, especially sporty models like the DS3 Racing. However, hatchbacks do not sell well in the US, and they certainly don't convey luxury in the eyes of American consumers. Of the current range, the DS6 SUV would be the most likely to succeed., with SUVs being the most popular body shape on the market in the US. In order for Citroen's plan to work, it will need to release some new models that would appeal to US consumers. Here is our plan to make Citroen relevant in the United States.
When Peugeot left the US in 1991, US consumers were left remembering how unreliable the cars were. Citroen will need to use the long hiatus from the US market to its advantage by establishing a new identity for French cars in the US. If Citroen can market its DS range as a rival for companies like Lexus, Buick, and Infiniti, it may be able to succeed. The DS lineup will need to have at least two SUVs, and at least one sedan. While we would love to see a hatchback make its way here, we doubt that it would sell well enough. In order to cement the brand's prestige, a sports car like the DS E-Tense concept could be added to the lineup. These cars would need to be extremely comfortable, and less expensive than German alternatives.
If PSA can convince American consumers that French cars mix the style and technology of German cars, with the comfort and build quality of Japanese luxury cars, then DS cars could be a hit. German cars can be a bit harsh riding, so DS cars should be extremely comfortable. Small but powerful engines with high MPG figures would also help cater to conscious consumers who don't care about having huge engines anymore. Returning to the US is a huge uphill battle for PSA, and we think it will be quite a while before we ever see any French cars on sale here. However, this could be a really cool chance to buy a new style of car that we haven't had in the US for over two decades.