Peugeot launches electrification to re-enter the US

Speaking at the Detroit Motor Show, Peugeot’s CEO, Carlos Tavares, unveiled the company’s plans for electrification and autonomous driving. Peugeot’s owner, PSA, will manufacture all models with an electric option by 2025, while it will install partial self-driving technology in most vehicles by 2030. PSA, which also owns the brands Citroën, DS, Opel and Vauxhall, plans to launch new “electrified models”, during its transition towards sustainable mobility.

Peugeot’s strategy

According to Tavares, 80% of PSA’s cars will have Level 2 automation by 2030, which enables control of steering and braking on a motorway or certain other conditions. In addition, 10% of the cars will have advanced Level 4 autonomous systems, which will enable driving without a human driver in most circumstances.

PSA will ramp up its production in Europe, which has been significantly lagging behind most European rivals, especially in the domain of electric cars. Numerous car makers have ventured into higher proportions of electric cars, by implementing hybrid technology or full battery electrification, in light of the emerging emissions regulations in Europe, China and globally.

Automotive groups like Renault and Volkswagen already have electric cars on the market, and have set strategic goals to continue electrifying their ranges and scaling the pure battery cars. Moreover, global car makers like General Motors, Ford, KIA and Toyota have also made pledges to manufacture and sell electric cars in the future.

Peugeot however, has yet to release its fully battery-driver car in late 2019, eventually electrifying all vehicles by 2025.

Each model will  have an available “array of powertrains”, including options for electric and traditional combustion engines, instead of offering only hybrid or electric cars.

By 2025, PSA will be 100% electrified and will offer 40 electrified vehicles.

Peugeot’s three-step return to the US

PSA’s electrification strategy will include a return to the US markets, after Citroën quit in 1974 and Peugeot exited in 1991, due to Japanese competition and changing tastes. Tavares revealed a three-step process for re-entering the US, focused on sustainable mobility.

Mobility…is at the heart of our strategic plan.

PSA will re-establish the Peugeot brand in the US by initially offering ride-sharing services through the new brand Free2Move, using other companies’s cars. They will begin offering car-sharing schemes in two or three cities already later in 2018. The next step will be to offer ride sharing services using Peugeot’s own cars. After gathering sufficient information about US customers, the final step will focus on selling Peugeot vehicles.

The vehicles will be designed by former GM engineers, currently working for Opel, as they can “ensure the future products for this market will be fully US compliant” from both a regulatory and consumer tastes perspective. Peugeot has “people working on cars now” for the US market, in a technical center in Russelshem, Germany. Going forward, PSA plans to establish additional manufacturing facilities in Southeast Asia.

Snezana Sokolovska

Snezana has extensive international background and business media experience. She is covering e-mobility, autonomous vehicles and smart technology at Electric Think.

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