GENEVA – Peugeot Citroen says it has no plans to expand its relationship with ailing Japanese auto maker Motors Corp. beyond their SUV partnership announced last month.(See related story: Growing SUV Market Drives PSA to Mitsubishi)
The French auto maker says while it does plan to return to North America in the long term, it will not do so utilizing’s Normal, IL, plant, nor its retail network, as rumored. The vision is for to develop its own independent infrastructure, while avoiding complicated alliances or acquisitions.
“The question is not looking for a plant, but do we have the products (to enter the U.S. market),” PSA Chairman Jean-Martin Folz tells Ward’s.
"We need to have a full product lineup to establish our own dealer network.”
Folz admits PSA “regrets” not remaining in the U.S. market but says the auto maker does plan a return. PSA last sold the Peugeot 405, 505 and 604 in the U.S. in 1992.
“We should obviously be attracted to the North American market. We are certainly thinking about it,” he says. “We have neither a short-term nor mid-term project today to come back to the U.S. We certainly will do this eventually.”
He says PSA will continue to cultivate additional partnerships with global auto makers. It already has ventures withMotor Co., AG and Motor Corp. to share either platforms or powertrains.
Folz says PSA is not interested in taking a financial stake in any auto maker, adding the merger culture that developed in the late 1990s has proven to be volatile.
“We always said we didn’t think mergers and acquisitions made any sense in the car industry,” he says. “We are clearly devoted to organic growth, plus cooperation limited in scope and operation with independent OEMs.”
Folz stresses PSA does not plan to pursue other projects with Mitsubishi beyond the joint production of an SUV in Japan for the Citroen and Peugeot brands.
“We don’t have anything else as a possible cooperation with Mitsubishi, because we do not have any need for any further cooperation,” he says.
“We are not in a game saying, ‘What can we share with Mitsubishi?’ Mitsubishi has got a platform expertise when it comes to SUVs, and it is certainly a good partner when it comes to developing an SUV.”