PSA plans new model blitz for Peugeot, Citroen and DS
Hybrids, EVs and a pick-up truck to make up a new car boom that will launch Peugeot, Citroen and DS forward to 2021
The new company masterplan, dubbed ‘Push to Pass’, also reveals that the firm will launch seven plug-in hybrids and four pure-electric vehicles within the next five years - as well as starting a 10-year programme to return to the United States market.
PSA was hit badly during the global recession and today’s announcement marks the end of the process designed to save the company, called ‘Back in the race’. “We have turned the company around sooner than we anticipated,” said PSA’s chairman Tavares. “We have direction, we have a spine and we know where we’re going. We now have a company that is the master of its own destiny.”
Of PSA’s three brands, it’s Citroen that is likely to get the biggest initial jolt of new product. Tavares confirmed that there will be “at least” 12 new Citroen vehicles by 2021 - and seven of those are due before the end of 2018. DS will launch five new global models by 2021, while Peugeot will wheel out nine new vehicles in the same timeframe. The product plan does include a one-tonne-rated pick-up, as revealed by Auto Express last week.
Tavares did not confirm which brands would launch the EVs but he said, “The second generation of PSA electric cars [following the C-Zero and Ion) will be here by 2019. And we will also have an upmarket electric four-wheel-drive vehicle.”
The new-model offensive does not extend to new platforms. Well-placed sources have told Auto Express that all 26 global models - which will mean 121 launches over the next six years once regional variations of the cars are taken into account - will be based on the chassis that currently underpin existing Peugeot, Citroen and DS vehicles. This architecture is also compatible with plug-in hybrid technology and pure-electric set-ups, potentially allowing PSA to build alternatively fuelled versions of cars along the same production lines as their petrol and diesel stablemates.
PSA will also include autonomous technology as part of its fresh product push. The company expects to introduce a ‘traffic jam assist’ function by 2018, ‘hands-off’ autonomy by 2020 and ‘eyes-off’ functionality by 2021.
10-year plan for return to the US market
Tavares also confirmed a long-term, 10-year plan for PSA to return to the North America, saying, “We cannot be a global company until were are there.”
Peugeot last sold cars in the US in 1991, while Citroen left the market after 1974. PSA is planning a deliberately slow process to engineer its return; the company will first study American customers’ needs by partnering with firms providing mobility solutions, such as car sharing schemes. Then it will try to offer some of its own products to these customers - before finally launching its product line-up for sale, with some local production.
“We are going to take it step by step,” said Tavares, “so we don’t fail because of pride or arrogance. We cannot escape the fact that our competition there has been in the US for 50 years or more. But also, we know that they are the same competitors that we have beaten in Europe and China, so we have a chance.”
What do you think of the future plans for Peugeot, Citroen and DS? Are they going in the right direction? Let us know in the comments section below...