PSA Group, the parent company of the Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Vauxhall and Opel brands, said Tuesday it has chosen Atlanta as the location for its new North American headquarters as the automaker eyes a return to the U.S. market after more than two decades away. It expects the facility to be operational by next month.
PSA Group joins Mercedes-Benz and Porsche as automakers that have established North American headquarters in Georgia's largest city. And by locating in the South, it gains proximity to a growing list of automakers, including Honda, Nissan, Volkswagen and Hyundai, that have established manufacturing facilities in the low-cost, union-free region. Georgia alone has more than 320 automotive facilities — including a Kia plant — that employ more than 27,800 workers, according to a news release from Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal. And Toyota and Mazda recently announced they will locate a $1.6 billion joint venture plant in neighboring Alabama, where it will employ 4,000.
"We looked at every aspect of the Atlanta community and found it to be the most suitable location for us," Larry Dominique, President of PSA North America, said in a release. "While the overall business environment, standard of living and university system played an important part in our decision, our unique needs in terms of technology, mobility innovation and car culture ultimately identified Atlanta as our perfect choice."
PSA Group in 2016 announced its "Push to Pass" plan to re-enter the U.S. market within 10 years and in three steps. Last fall, it took its first step by launching the Free2Move brand in Seattle, but using other companies' cars. They'll eventually use Peugeot vehicles as the second step, and the brand wants to eventually sell its vehicles stateside.
Peugeot CEO Carlos Tavares said last week that the company is leaning on engineers from Opel, which it acquired from General Motors in 2017 along with Vauxhall, to develop vehicles to re-enter the U.S. market. He added that Peugeot will offer electrified versions of all its models by 2025.