If there’s one thing for certain, the US auto market has been completely void of new French cars, pretty much since the 1980s as major automotive players from the country of Parisian wine and cheese, like Renault, Citroen, and Peugeot fell out from poor demand.
They were officially sold here in the 1960s and the 1970s, but after a major shift in the automotive climate and some struggles on end of France’s auto industry, the French offerings just slowed and slowed to a gradual trickle, where only private importers were selling semi-new French cars on our shores. Eventually, all of them just pulled out at one point or another.
But now, after nearly 30 years, PSA, or the company that consists of Peugeot and Citroen as an automaker, in competition with Renault-Nissan, Citroen apparently announced to be launching its new DS premium brand in the United States.
Now, talk to some old timers, and they’ll tell you that Citroens were a bit daft and quirky. Or they’d be unreliable and poorly built. But that was over three decades ago. And yes, French auto companies have not ranked high even to European standards, and yet, people still buy them and drive them.
So despite all of this, I am quite oddly excited to be seeing some new French cars on US soil, besides the ones loosely sold in Mexico or Canada.
According to the report from CARandDRIVER, nothing’s quite official, however, but it was somehow confirmed that the US was included with PSA’s future long-term plan to expand. That said, don’t expect any of Peugeot’s current generation of cars to arrive here any time soon.
Despite great similarities to safety requirements, which are key determinants as to whether or not a car can be sold here, a lot has to be changed to meet US specifications. This takes a lot of research, development, and execution of change and consideration. Though it’s not impossible as Ford currently employs this strategy with their worldly design standards. In other words, Ford builds their cars to be nearly identical around the world for simplicity and ease of manufacturing. So the Focus we get is the same Focus Europe and Asia get.
That said, it’s possible for the French automakers to do the same with universalizing their assemblies. Let’s also not forget, companies like Renault have their preexisting networks established already from their corporate sister, Nissan.
Do you think it’s about time the US gets some new French cars on our shores?
– By: Chris Chin