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PSA makes move back into US

French connection: Former GM, Chrysler and Nissan executive, Larry Dominique has been appointed senior vice-president and head of PSA Group’s new North American entity.

Mobility services mark return of PSA to USA ahead of sales channel in coming years

Peugeot logo7 Apr 2017

PSA Group is making its first moves back into the US market, announcing this week that it had created a new entity in the region and set up a car-sharing service in Los Angeles as the first steps of its “progressive entry” into North America.

PSA has not had a presence in North America since its Peugeot brand exited in 1991, but just a month after sealing a deal to purchase General Motors’ European brands Opel and Vauxhall (which also build cars for Buick in the US), the French auto group is now laying the foundations of a full-scale return under its ‘Push to Pass’ plan.

The company has appointed US automotive industry veteran Larry Dominique as senior vice-president and head of the new North American entity, who brings more than 30 years’ experience to the role including stints at General Motors, Chrysler and Nissan.

Most recently, Mr Dominique was president of industry valuation firm Automotive Lease Guide and executive vice-president of automotive pricing and information website TrueCar.

His first task is to roll out PSA’s mobility services in North America through its Free2Move sub-brand and partner TravelCar, a car-sharing start-up company founded in 2012.

The ride-share service was launched this week at Los Angeles airport ahead of a larger deployment across the US.

This non-traditional approach will see PSA-brand cars gradually build a presence in key areas via the mobility services before a full-scale sales channel is set up inside the next 10 years.

As well as Peugeot, PSA brands include Citroen and DS, although the French group is still to decide which of these will be launched in the US.

“With the creation of PSA North American entity, PSA Group makes an important step forward in the rollout of our project to progressively enter the region,” said PSA chairman of the managing board, Carlos Tavares.

“Moving forward, we will ramp up our mobility activities and the development of car-sharing services, among other efforts. Today we start with our partner TravelCar.”

Mr Tavares previously worked with Mr Dominique when they were both at Nissan in the 1990s and early 2000s. Among various roles, Mr Tavares had responsibility for global product planning while Mr Dominique, an engineer, had risen to product planning senior manager and chief product specialist for the Americas, working on programs such as the Titan pick-up truck.

Mr Tavares later relocated to the US as president of Nissan North America, with Mr Dominique vice-president in charge of product planning and strategy for the region.

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