Twenty-seven years after leaving the United States, PSA done at the end of the fall, to again roll the car across the Atlantic, even if for the moment none of them has a logo of its brands. The group is a French car (Peugeot-Citroën-DS-Opel-Vauxhall) launched in Washington, Thursday, October 25, his first offer of car-sharing in north american with the deployment of a fleet of cars belonging to him. “This service offered a free-floating provides access to six hundred vehicles parked in the street in the eight districts of the district of Columbia,” said a press release of PSA.
Cars available for rental short-term – unknown in Europe – are Chevrolet (group General Motors), none of the vehicles of the French manufacturer, at this day approved in the united States. Two hundred SUV Equinox and 400 Cruze – a compact sedan – will arrive in the next few weeks.
The service allows you to rent the vehicle for a period of a few minutes or several days, for a subscription fee of $ 10 (8,75€) and a fee of 47 cents per kilometre travelled. Booking, payment, lock-unlock-everything is done from the application Free2Move – service mark of mobility of the PSA. The user can travel up to 800 kilometres for a rental, and park his vehicle anywhere he pleases in the federal capital american.
“A return to step-by-step ”
It is, therefore, by a door modest – mobility services – that PSA back in the United States. The decision was taken in 2017 by Carlos Tavares, chairman of the management board of the group, to return after several decades of absence and a long history of attempts, generally unsuccessful, which ended in 1991. Peugeot as Citroen have long suffered from a poor image, symbolized by the Peugeot 403 of Columbo, which, for Us, was the car that the waterproof of the famous inspector was at the elegance.
“It is a return to step-by-step which will be spread over ten years,” comments Larry Dominique, director of PSA North America. We first launched the application Free2Move, 2017, in Seattle [Washington]. Now we offer fleets of shared cars of their own. Then, there will be the launch of fleets with our brands and then, finally, the direct marketing. “Carlos Tavares has indicated that the next-generation Peugeot-Citroën-DS would be designed to be homologated in North America.
“Washington had exactly the right size for our launch, said Michel Stumpe, director of carsharing services in North America. As soon as we will have learned enough from this first test, we will propose our offer in other cities. “PSA has decided not to indicate where it could again launch fleets Free2Move, but it is a question of Birmingham (Alabama), Jacksonville (Florida) or Chicago (Illinois).
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The French manufacturer is not the first to have had this idea to offer vehicles in car-sharing in american cities. The competition is already fierce. The citizen in quest of mobility already has the choice between significant actors : ReachNow (BMW), Car2Go (Daimler), Maven (General Motors) or Zipcar (Avis). “We want to differentiate and provide a unique experience for our customers, assures Dominique. We offer vehicles larger and more comfortable than any of our competitors. “
There is no question for PSA to indicate any purpose of revenue, and even less profitability. “We are here to gain experience “, only there to explain. And he is not losing his shirt in the matter of : the team Free2Move in Washington is limited to five people and all services (deployment, cleaning, maintenance, etc) will be carried out by service providers.
But there is not that America. The next major launch of mobility services PSA will not happen in the United States but in Paris. About five hundred vehicles stamped Free2Move should make their appearance in the French capital in the coming weeks, with a bit of delay compared to the eternal rival Renault, which has announced the deployment of 100 Zoe in car-sharing. All in all 750 vehicles shared today are operated by PSA-Free2Move : 300 in Madrid, 150 in Lisbon and 300 in Wuhan (China). At the same period in 2019, they should be more than four thousand.
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