Bring back Peugeot — and Renault, too

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To the Editor:

I’m pleased that Peugeot is considering a U.S. comeback. I was saddened when it left in 1991.

PSA’s newest cars are markedly improved over the models they sold here more than a decade ago.

I would like to buy a new Peugeot. I have been driving a 1986 505GL since 1989, and it has more than 200,000 miles. But if and when Peugeot returns to these shores, Jean-Martin Folz, chairman and CEO, and his organization must have a firm understanding of the following points:

1. Ship only thoroughly tested products. Consumers cannot be “beta” testers.

2. A full product line will be necessary, including diesels.

3. There should be a devoted, knowledgeable, well-trained dealer network, especially in major metropolitan centers.

4. There should be a long-term plan for rebuilding Peugeot in America.

5. Perhaps most important, French executives must work as a team with American managers in developing product and sales strategies. A haughty, know-it-all attitude from France has never worked.

If the cash-strapped Koreans can be successful here with inspiring Hyundais, there is absolutely no reason PSA’s stylish vehicles cannot.

I’d love to see Renault back here, too. The new Renault Laguna II — what a wonderful car! Are you listening, Louis Schweitzer?

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