CONQUERING AMERICA: CAN PEUGEOT STAGE A SUCCESSFUL RETURN TO THE US?
In 2016, French car manufacturer Peugeot announced its will to return to the US, one of the most competitive market in the world. Peugeot had previously attempted to conquer the US, but that effort failed: In 1991, after having sold a grand total of 4,261 cars in the whole country the year before, Peugeot left the US and remained away for 25 years. Now eager to stage a successful comeback in a market that only got even more fiercely competitive and in the midst of rapid changes affecting the industry, Peugeot needed to first figure out how to overcome its key competitive weakness, namely its lack of a distribution network. For Peugeot's CEO, one question dominated all others: How should Peugeot fulfill its distribution needs in the US (defined as selling cars and providing maintenance), given that it did not have a distribution network?