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French automaker PSA Group only last month agreed to purchase Opel from General Motors. The automaker has also got around to establishing PSA North America, with former TrueCar and Nissan executive Larry Dominique put in charge of the new operation.
But PSA isn’t ready just yet to establish a sales network in North America for its brands, which in addition to Opel include Citroën, Peugeot and the new luxury brand DS. Instead, the automaker will test the waters with a car-sharing initiative, as outlined by CEO Carlos Tavares a year ago.
The car-sharing service, which is dubbed Free2Move and partnered with established player TravelCar, is currently available at Los Angeles airport and will eventually expand to more cities in the United States. The cars are all privately-owned and offer pricing that’s around half what an ordinary rental would cost, according to PSA.
The next step would be PSA using cars from its own brands in car-sharing schemes across the country. The end goal would be PSA actually selling cars in the U.S. It’s not clear which brand(s) PSA will introduce, though the automaker has hinted in the past about making DS a global luxury player. The time frame given for the three-step plan is a decade, so don't get too excited about driving off in a Peugeot or Opel just yet.
“With the creation of PSA North American entity, PSA Group makes an important step forward in the roll-out of our project to progressively enter the region” Tavares said in a statement. “Moving forward, we will ramp up our mobility activities and the development of car-sharing services, among other efforts.”