PSA Group announced on Tuesday that it has chosen Atlanta, Georgia for its U.S. headquarters. The site will be opened in February and initially house a core team focused on steering the execution of the automaker’s U.S. strategy.
“We looked at every aspect of the Atlanta community and found it to be the most suitable location for us,” said Larry Dominique, President of PSA North America. “Our unique needs in terms of technology, mobility innovation and car culture ultimately identified Atlanta as our perfect choice.”
Metro Atlanta has become an attractive site for corporate headquarters, with a globally connected airport, a deep pool of knowledge workers and a low cost of doing business. Automotive operations such as Mercedes-Benz USA and Porsche Cars North America have relocated their headquarters to the city, and self-driving car company Waymo said Monday it would begin testing its vehicles in the area.
The Southeast has become an emerging threat to the Midwest’s domination as an auto industry hub, as Nissan, Toyota, Kia and Volkswagen put plants in low cost, union-free Southern states. Georgia is home to more than 320 automotive facilities that employ more than 27,800 Georgians.
Southern states, including Georgia, have also been aggressive with tax incentives as a way to draw corporate expansions and relocations. It was not stated if any incentives were offered to PSA.
Dominique disclosed that the site is in Fulton County and that they have been publicly recruiting employees for the centre.
The company has to date launched a mobility platform, Free2Move, in the U.S., which it is using to research consumer preferences and determine the brand to lead its return to the market. Dominique said PSA would introduce its own car rental service on the platform this year.
So what exactly is PSA’s U.S. strategy beyond testing the waters with mobility services? In April 2016, Groupe PSA announced the return to the U.S. market in three phases. The plan as outlined in Push to Pass claimed that after first working with Free2Move, mobility services with Groupe PSA’s vehicles would come second and then finally retail sales. Last week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit PSA CEO Carlos Tavares announced that the company would be selling vehicles in North America by 2026.