I was recently sifting through some of my slightly dated photos and stumbled upon some examples of an interesting find. Long story short, I was traveling through New Jersey on the Turnpike when I noticed a fairly odd looking vehicle. It was one that some how stuck out at me and rang the bell: hey, that doesn’t belong here!
And that’s because what I spotted was a modern Peugeot 407 cruising along with traffic in the “Cars Only” section of the Turnpike northbound. Something’s going on here…
So why is this odd? This is an oddity because Peugeot pulled out of the US and Canadian market in 1992 after 33 years of operations. It was only in 1997 that Peugeot apparently began selling new models in Mexico. However, according to a quick search on Wikipedia, no new Peugeot can be imported into the US through Mexico. Additionally, Peugeot USA’s website also states the following:
Automobiles Peugeot does not manufacture vehicles that conform to current United States regulations. For this reason it is unfortunately impossible for anyone to import a Peugeot model into the USA . Should anybody attempt to do so, the vehicle will be blocked at the port of arrival and will not be allowed to be operated in the USA and Canada .
As of this date, Automobiles Peugeot has no plan for resuming the sales of its vehicles in the USA or Canada
Taking the information here, that Peugeot 407 and the very few other new Peugeots I saw don’t have any business driving on US roads, including our famed NJ Turnpike. To add to the mystery, the 407 I spotted was sporting a rear NJ “DTM” dealer/manufacturer plate. So that could mean so very few things: either someone is paying a pretty penny for a Frenchie family sedan, or Peugeot could be secretively testing its new models in the US as a potential pitch for a reentry. Alfa Romeo is supposed to be coming back. So why not Peugeot? Either way, someone’s pulling some serious strings.
To feed the fire even more, I added a picture of a RCZ coupe I spotted in the parking garage of the Cobo Center in Detroit during this past year’s North American International Auto Show. Unfortunately, I did not catch the registration plates on the RCZ.
This particularly interests me because it’s been a very long time since Peugeot has ever sold anything new here. Surely, they left off with a bit of a sour note from quirky ergonomics and spotty build quality and reliability. But those were the old days and quality control is stricter than ever before. If Peugeot made reliable cars that were priced and drove well, hell, I’d rock an RCZ coupe.
As of this post, I sent my inquiry to Peugeot USA and Peugeot’s global website for response. It would be interesting to see what they have to say. In the event that they do, stay tuned and I’ll report back.
Supplementing my photos are Peugeot’s manufacturer photos of equivalent generation.
– By: Chris Chin
All Photo Spottings Copyright egmCarTech © Chris Chin.
Photo Source For Factory Pictures: Peugeot