According to industry mag Automotive News, the appearance of new French President Nicolas Sarkozy in a stretched Peugeot 607 has ignites speculation that PSA could revive the defunct Panhard marque as a premium/luxury automobile division that follows the Lexus formula of sharing components with existing PSA/Peugeot-Citroen products.
Panhard was sold to Auverland, a French military vehicle manufacturer, in 2005, and the brand is now used on said machinery. We assume that PSA would have to arrive at some agreement with that entity if it were ever to resurrect the name on passenger vehicles.
PSA, for its part, has no comment on the matter other than to say that a premium division is one of the many things under consideration by its new leadership. Our friends at Motor Authority question whether or not PSA has the technology and resources to make a luxury Panhard brand a success. They also point to Maybach as an example of how hard it is to revive an old marque, but we think Maybach's issues are more than a lack of initial name recognition. Those cars just don't look different enough than their Mercedes brethren. If the Exelero was ever built, it would be an instant sellout. But we digress.
PSA's future direction will be announced in September, at which point we'll presumably find out if a premium division -- Panhard or otherwise -- is planned.
[Source: Automotive News via Motor Authority]