Cleveland, Ohio – Peugeot Citroen is taking its first steps to re-establishing sales in the United States by hiring former Nissan, General Motors, and Chrysler executive Larry Dominique and launching a car-sharing service in Los Angeles, California.
PSA Groupe CEO Carlos Tavares has said one of the reasons his company purchased GM’s European Opel/Vauxhall brands and plants was to give the French automaker capacity to expand into North America and other markets. The sales agreement allows for PSA to sell vehicles in the United States once it moves away from GM-designed cars and migrates to PSA vehicles.
Dominique led Nissan’s Titan pickup design and development efforts and more recently served on the retail side of the business with positions at TrueCar and Automotive Lease Guide (ALG). Dominique reported to Tavares when the two worked at Nissan.
PSA’s plan to enter the U.S. market with TravelCar, a carsharing service that effectively turns airport parking lots full of travelers’ cars into a rental car lot. Parkers using the service get free parking and visitors renting parked cars get lower rates than traditional car rental services.
However, Tavares has been clear that his ultimate goal is establishing the PSA Groupe as a viable transportation company in the U.S., making TravelCar a first step.
“It is absolutely possible to sell Opel cars outside of Western Europe,” Taveres said before finalizing the deal to buy GM’s European brands. “If we are competitive in terms of quality and cost, it is a big opportunity for all of Opel's workers and plants.”
With the hiring of Dominique and the establishment of an initial business, he said last week that PSA Groupe’s plan is to progressively expand its presence in North America.
“With the creation of PSA North American entity, PSA Group makes an important step forward in the roll-out of our project to progressively enter the region” Tavares said
About the author: Robert Schoenberger is the editor of Today's Motor Vehicles and a contributor to Today's Medical Developments and Aerospace Manufacturing and Design. He has written about the automotive industry for more than 17 years at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio; The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky; and The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi.