SAN FRANCISCO — Auto manufacturer Groupe PSA North America is scouting for innovative technology partners to scale its mobility services, following its return to the U.S. after a 26-year hiatus, President and Chief Executive Larry Dominique told attendees at Auto Finance Innovation 2018 last week.
Groupe PSA — which manufactures Peugeot, Citroën, DS Automobiles, Opel, and Vauxhall brands — last month opened its new North American headquarters in Atlanta.
In April 2016, Groupe PSA announced its return to the U.S. market with a three-phase plan: aggregated mobility services, integration of Groupe PSA’s vehicles into those services, and then retail sales. The first step has been already initiated with Free2Move aggregation platform launched in October 2017 in Seattle. This application allows users to choose between a wide range of car-, scooter-, and bike-sharing transportation services.
“Because consumer expectations evolve so rapidly, the evolution and growth of mobility is starting to take off as well,” Dominique said. “The goal was, let’s first launch with our mobility services [in North America] … understand the data, understand the consumer motivations, where is car ownership going, and what are the different models … such as subscription, leasing, and financing. We want to take our time, understand the market, work on the data and infrastructure, and learn how a brand like one of ours can interact with consumers in a much more meaningful way, not just for the point of sale but for the life of the consumer journey.”
As such, Groupe PSA North America wants to partner “with innovative people” to enhance the customer journey and advance the OEM’s mobility services initiatives, he said.
“What we are trying to do right now is identifying all the different modalities of our business,” he told attendees. “Who are the innovative thinkers? Who are the ones thinking out-of-the-box that could partner with us to come up with a new solution for how we distribute cars, how we [sell] cars, the digital experience, and on the parts and service side? All those elements are ripe for innovation. What I am doing right now with my team is, we are spending a lot of time reaching out … looking for innovative partners. I feel like we are casting a wide net. If you feel you have innovation, we’d love to talk to you.”
Groupe PSA’s global mobility brand Free2Move was launched in September 2016. The brand unites all of the OEM’s mobility solutions, including the Free2Move suite of Carsharing, Smart Services, Fleet Sharing, Fleet Management, and Lease.
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