Ever since PSA Group announced that it would be making a return the U.S. as part of a 10-year plan, there has been a large amount of speculation as to which brand would be sold. Would it be Citroen, DS, Peugeot, or the recently acquired Opel/Vauxhall?
“We’ve chosen a brand, but it’s too early to talk about it,” said Larry Dominique, president and CEO of PSA North America to Car and Driver.
PSA Group is still in the first phase of its plan with the Free2Move mobility aggregation platform (shows various ways of getting around such as bikes and electric vehicles) in Seattle. Somewhat worrying is that the company has only “activated its marketing” in Seattle recently according to Dominique - Free2Move launched back in October.
Out of all of the brands under PSA Group, Car and Driver says there is a good chance that Opel could be the brand coming to the U.S. They point out a comment made by PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares saying after purchasing Opel/Vauxhall is that Opel engineers can “ensure the future products for this market will be fully U.S. compliant,” in terms of regulations and taste.
But there is a possible complication to PSA's plans. Yesterday, President Donald Trump's tariffs on imported steel and aluminum went into effect. There is also talk about a possibly matching up the tariff on imported vehicles - currently, the U.S. imposes a 2.5 percent tariff on imported European vehicles. Earlier this month, Tavares told Automotive News that he is watching the situation closely and that if a new vehicle tariff does come, it will make the company rethink their plans.
“If the overall framework of tariffs change, it may have an impact on our strategy. That’s clear, because if we don’t have a profitable business plan, then we don’t go,” said Tavares.
Dominique is a little bit more hopeful. Speaking at the J.D. Power Automotive Summit this week, Dominique said he doesn't believe an increase in the tariff will happen and expressed confidence that the various trade issues could be worked out.