While the primary focus at PSA Group for the past few months has been purchase of Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors, there has been another project that has been going in the shadows, the return of the French automaker to the U.S.
Speaking at the CAR Management Briefing Seminars this week in Traverse City, MI, the CEO of the recently established PSA North America Larry Dominique gave a status update.
Back in April, PSA made their first foray into North America with the launch of car-sharing service TravelCar in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The next step is the launch of the Free2Move application into North America. Already launched in Europe, the application allows users to book and pay for a variety of transportation services such as public transit or ride hailing. For Europe, the application has eight different services on offer.
Dominique said the app allows PSA Group to "interact with consumers more often than engaging solely in car sales."
“We’re going to be starting to engage with millions of Americans. By the time we’re ready to sell cars, selling cars will just be the exclamation point at the end of the sentence,” Dominique told Automotive News on the sidelines.
Also in the works is figuring out a dealership with the various services such as financing, servicing, and parts. Building out a dealer network will cost a fair chunk of cash and trying to something different with selling their vehicles is a no go for the time being.
“We are looking for progressive, innovative and digital-minded partners,” said Dominique in an effort to reduce costs.
“I’m not prepared to talk about how we are going to come to market (in North America) but it will be practical, traditional and use technology.”
Dominique is aware of how big of a challenge that he is taking on and they only get one chance to get it right.
“We’ve got to be able to do things in a new, innovative way. I don’t have the infrastructure and the legacy in place. We have a chance to do this right once.”