The parent company of automotive brands including Peugeot, Citroen, and most recently Opel, French company Groupe PSA, has announced that it will establish a new American office in the city of Atlanta, Georgia as part of plan to re-enter the North American market.
While Groupe PSA’s American aspirations were already known thanks to its 2016 ‘Push to Pass’ plan which first established the company’s Free2Move mobility services in the US in 2017, the latest step puts a definitive timeline on PSA’s reintroduction plans.
After a year-long search Groupe PSA decided to establish its headquarters in Fulton County, Atlanta and claims it will have a fully operation HQ running a core team of employees by February 2018.
Atlanta already plays host to the North American head offices of both Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, while the state of Georgia hosts an assembly plant for Kia, and a component supply division of Toyota amongst its industrial sector amongst over 300 automotive companies that operate in the state.
Reports suggest that Groupe PSA will utilise Opel’s expertise in developing GM Europe products to fit American regulations from its experience turning cars like the Insignia and Cascada into products that appeared in Buick showrooms during its time with General Motors.
Groupe PSA has yet to announce which of its automotive brands (which include Citroen, Peugeot, DS, and most recently Opel and its rebadged twin Vauxhall) are likely to make their way to the US, although Opel and Peugeot are considered the most likely due to their mainstream appeal and potential for high volume.
The timing for Groupe PSA’s retail introduction to the North American market also gives the company time to develop products better-suited to the regions preference for large SUVs, compared to its current range of mostly compact models.
The timing also coincides with PSA’s plans to consolidate its platforms and engines as the company streamlines the complexities of its current range, some of which are the result of legacy products from GM.
Recently Citroen CEO Linda Jackson also suggested that a new large car from the brand was on the way, pointing to a future platform that could be used as a springboard for the group’s American ambitions.
Citroen withdrew from the North market in 1974 due to difficulties meeting regulations that prohibited some of the advanced features of its vehicles at the time. Peugeot maintained a presence until 1991 before slowing sales forced the brand to retreat.