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Get ready for more choices

… in the US automotive marketplace.
Please note that I did not state that these would be good choices.

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Back in the 50’s the neighbor kid’s sister used to have one sitting in the garage. I never did see it run though. Like was said about French engineers-they copy no one and no one copies them. Good luck to them I guess but gee, I think it’s going to take more than business school double speak about their careful plan to be successful. Like what will distinguish them from all the other major players already here? Style, cost, dependability, dealer network, Huh? Seems to me in Europe, a selling point is that if you have trouble, they’ll come and get you no matter where you are. But the US is pretty big for that and who wants to buy a car with that kind of a selling point? I’d prefer not to have trouble in the first place. One thing I’ll look for is will it pull a trailer and have a V6?

Yeah but choices? Are there really many actual choices? Similar styling, I4s, mpg, and even colors. You could hang all the brochures on a wall and throw a dart to pick which one. I still like that little Jeep but gee whiz, Italian?

Peugeots are stylish, we don’t know about the cost, dependability is unknown, and I agree with you about the dealer network. Who are they going to partner with to get going? Maybe FCA; they have extra space in the showroom. If not, it will take until maybe 2030 before they move out of NYC and LA. They won’t make it to Minnesota until 2040 if they last that long. It’s quite an undertaking, though. Imagine the cost to get their vehicles certified for sale here and in Canada. Gotta give them points for ambition.

Don’t forget that PSA (or Peugeot and Citroen cars) now have Opel and Vauxhall in their stable. The ex-GM divisions do know how to build for and test for the US market. The Catera was an Opel with Cadillac badges. NOW with French Odd!

Not exactly a resounding endorsement of the possible coming quality of these cars. With Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Maserati struggling in the US, I can’t see much success for them.

Now that’s an interesting thing to consider. Someone in LA decides to drive out of town once and breaks down in Iowa. Gonna be a big towing charge. Or maybe they’d fly a mechanic with parts to Iowa like some companies do.

They have been selling a French designed car here for a while now. The Nissan Versa is actually a Renault under its Nissan badges and about what you would expect, great room and a good ride for its size and sub par reliability.

What truly amazes me, however, is the large number of Maseratis that I see on the road daily. Most of them are Ghibli sedans, but I have also noticed growing numbers of their GT coupes and convertibles. Once in a while I see a Quattroporte sedan, and one day at the supermarket, I parked next to a Maserati Levante SUV.

I have to assume that most of these owners never researched the reliability of that marque before plunking down a lot of cash. However, I am also guessing that most of those Maseratis are leased.

I do as well… in Naples Florida. Because there is Maserati dealer in town. Leased by well heeled retirees.

The French have produced some nice suspensions and ummmm… That’s all I can think of.

As I said, I’m having trouble figuring out how they will handle a dealer network to sell and service the cars, just as you are. The illustration is meant to hint at the narrow market they almost have to start in to keep from blowing billions if the experiment doesn’t work. That’s why I give them credit for ambition.

There’s the Ravigneaux gearset that came out around the same time that the Simpsons did. Then another Frenchman place a reduction gear in front of the Ravigneaux gearset and patented it as the Lepelliter gearset. That’s the basis for 6 and 8 speeds automatics.

Years ago I got an opportunity to take a ride in one of those Citroen DS’s , very nice. It felt like you were riding on feathers almost. And when the car stopped and parked it would lower, making it easy to get in and out. I think you could even change the tire without using a jack. It was stable (& even could drive for a short distance) w/just 3 wheels. The only downside I could see was that someone who was susceptible to sea-sickness might not like the feeling.

Another problem with the DS was the styling. I’ve always loved it, but many others didn’t.