PSA Group is building on its strategy to make a comeback in North America by offering mobility products before resuming car sales. Its latest target? Fleets.
The French automaker, whose Peugeot brand exited the U.S. market in 1991, said it was offering two services — Connect Fleet and Fleet Sharing — aimed at supporting fleet managers and helping businesses solve their mobility challenges.
They come under the umbrella of Free2Move Business Solutions, which is an extension of PSA's Free2Move, a mobility services brand designed to merge different urban transportation offerings. It launched in the U.S. in 2017 and includes a car-sharing service in Washington, D.C., that also connects users to scooters and bike rentals.
In July PSA said it was opening up the Free2Move Rent database to fleet customers in Europe. Business customers will be able to access Peugeot, Citroen, DS Automobiles, Opel and Vauxhall brand vehicles offered by the short-term car rental business.
By the end of this year, nearly 20,000 passenger and commercial vehicles will be available for hire in 1,300 branches across Europe, PSA said in a news release.
PSA CEO Carlos Tavares said in 2017 he hoped to generate at least $300 million in annual revenue from mobility services by 2021.
Free2Move Business Solutions works to integrate business and personal mobility needs into a single interface.
Connect Fleet manages more than 300,000 connected vehicles through 6,000 Free2Move customers in Europe and elsewhere. The product helps fleet managers control costs and improve efficiency with real-time data. It offers customized reports that provide insight into reducing driver and vehicle downtime, improving routing and promoting safe driving practices.
Fleet Sharing is a car-sharing service that allows car-pool managers to offer fleet users the ability to find, book and access car-pool vehicles on their own.
It works with other mobile transportation or fleet applications that customers may be using and incorporates the capabilities of Connect Fleet.
The product can be installed on any vehicle and is available as "white label," as a self-standing application, or as an integrated component of a company's existing transportation app, according to PSA North America.
Automakers have been entering fleet management through projects such as Daimler's Car2Go, myTaxi and Moovel. Volvo has launched app-based car-sharing service M, and Here Mobility, a product of BMW, Audi and Daimler, connects users to local transportation via an app.
"Managing car pools is quite challenging," Michael Lamontagne, PSA North America's head of business solutions, told Automotive News. "A lot of the ways to manage that is your whiteboards, Excel sheets, your sign on paper — it's fairly basic. Our solution helps to automate that process or provide the fleet manager with a lot more control or a lot more accountability."