The last time you could walk into a Peugeot dealer in the United States and buy a new car was in 1991 (though inventory probably lasted until 1992 or 1993). Back then, chances are good it would have been a 405 sedan, not a bad car, but simply not distinctive enough to lure American buyers. Lacking a solid mix of cars, U.S. Peugeot dealers saw sales decline to 4,261 units in 1990 and just 2,240 units in 1991. Clearly it was time to take the brand off of life support in the United States.
Now comes word that Europe’s second largest automaker is considering a return to the U.S. market. The biggest stumbling block would the cost to return, since Peugeot lacks a network of dealerships and has zero brand identity on these shores. None of their current automobiles were designed with U.S. expansion in mind, so it’s likely that more than minor changes would be required to meet the expectations of U.S. customers. On the other hand, Peugeot has expertise in diesel engines and their cars are generally renown for their handling, so maybe a turbo diesel sport sedan priced for the masses would go a long way towards re-establishing the brand. If this proves to be more than a rumor, expect Peugeot to move cautiously to re-enter the market. I’d expect to see something like their 308 first, followed by the 407 or the 508 depending on their strategy and expectations. I’m not sure I’d file this in the “likely” column, but I’d welcome their return to the US, and I doubt I’m alone.
Source: 4 Wheels News