Bonjour étranger edition

Reader Wasabi was cruising up I95 in Connecticut the other day when he saw this car retreating quickly past him. It is a Peugeot 308 wearing New Jersey manufacturer plates. It’s cool to see it here stateside…but what is it doing over here?
Maybe the rumors from 2007 are finally coming true and Peugeot is thinking about a return to our market.
Any other wild ass guesses are welcome in the comments.
Thanks Wasabi, for the tip!

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27 responses to “Bonjour étranger edition”

  1. Ash78 Avatar

    Reliable sources tell me it's part of Peugeot's "Last Lap of America." Be on the lookout for white flags all over the place. It's viral.

    1. acarr260 Avatar

      I had to go and be serious in my commenting after reading your comment. All of my potential smartass remarks pale in comparison. well played, sir.

  2. SLakin Avatar

    I saw a new Peugeot 206 a couple weeks ago in South Bend, IN.
    Also had New Jersey plates.

    1. BGW Avatar

      Peugeot has sold the 206 (though they call it a 207) in Mexico for some time now, and a few of them have made it across the border. One sat on Craigslist here in VA for around a year- it looked in great shape, certainly had a good price and I've no doubt the bags of blow stuffed inside the door panels would have moved pretty quickly on the streets, but The Missus suggested I pay real estate taxes instead.

    2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      There is a "Peugeot Motors of America" located in New Jersey, which according to a page on the Peugeot International website "…maintains an inventory of replacement parts and documentation necessary for the maintenance or repair of the most recently sold vehicles and provides technical support to a network of service points in the USA and Canada." The domain referenced in the contact email is, according to a whois lookup, really owned by Automobiles Peugeot SA in Paris. (But it has no web presence.)
      It has "1-4 employees" according to its business profile on
      Its principal, Richard Darienzo, also the contact for "Peugeot Citroën Engines" at the same address.

  3. P161911 Avatar

    I know that sometimes the Detroit Big 3/2.5/2.35 will bring in foreign models to benchmark or just for the heck of it. What manufacturers have a New Jersey office? Porsche used to have their Us HQ there, but not any more.

    1. dwegmull Avatar

      Yugo was in New Jersey…

    2. BGW Avatar

      Subaru's US HQ is in NJ, I believe.

    3. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      BMW, Jag/LR, and a few others.
      Porsche is in Atlanta now.

    4. jims63valvert Avatar

      Many car manufacturers (mostly European) have their US HQ in New Jersey, as NY is one of the most important markets and is on the Eastern time zone. This allows them to talk to Europe during a normal workday. Porsche, however, was never one of them. Their US HQ was in Reno, NV until 1998 when they moved to Atlanta. BMW, Rolls Royce, Jaguar-Land Rover, Ferrari/Maserati and Subaru are all located in Northern NJ.

  4. tonyola Avatar

    About a month ago I saw a BMW 1-series four-door hatchback cruising down US1 in Miami. Didn't get to see the plates, but I wonder if that model is headed stateside?

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      It was probably NJ

  5. acarr260 Avatar

    I had a Peugot 507 (I think) as a rental in Germany earlier this year and it was surprisingly nice. It was a diesel with a 6-speed manual. It had very little trouble getting up to speed on the autobahn and was quite comfortable while still getting what seemed to be pretty good mileage (I never filled it up over a two week trip). The looks weren't exactly dazzling, but the all glass roof was nifty for a while.

  6. ChuckyShamrok Avatar

    I've always like Peugots. When I was a wee hoon my grandfather at a 505 wagon I think, Diesel of course. He moved back to Indiana and got in a minor accident with it. After that it languished in a field because his step-sons "Promised" they'd fix it for him as they ran a body shop. Instead they rebuilt a stratus for him.

  7. LTDScott Avatar

    It's not explanation for that, but it's not uncommon to see Peugeots, Renaults, SEATs, and other Euro cars down here in San Diego, but they all have Mexican plates. Hell, I even saw a Rover sedan a few weeks ago!

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      I saw a Renault Megane a few months back with Mexi plates

    2. CptSevere Avatar

      Every so often I'll see a Ford truck with Mexican plates, but instead of being an F-150 it'll have a LOBO badge.

  8. engineerd Avatar

    I wonder if it's BMW checking it out to see how a Euro hatch does on US streets. Because, you know, the only reason why we don't get the 1 Series and other Euro hatches is because our streets are made from different asphalt.

  9. mechanilogical Avatar

    Something strange is going on. Yesterday I saw a Seat with California plates running around Downtown Sacramento

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      Were they standard plates or did they say DST or MFG on them?

      1. mechanilogical Avatar

        Oddly enough they were standard plates

  10. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    "Fiat eyes merger with Peugeot, according to reports" (April 12, 2010)

    1. Tomsk Avatar

      And since Fiat owns Maserati and Peugeot owns Citroën, the door would be wide open for a new SM!

  11. junkman Avatar

    The Peugeot is cool but an Avantime would be tres magnifique!

  12. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

    Anything that brings our automotive selection closer to Europe's, I'll endorse. Well, provided we don't totally lose what we have already.

  13. azron Avatar

    Yes, Peugeot maintains a US base in Northern NJ and their employees apparently have the option to source a company car. I live sort of nearby, and I've seen this 308 on the highway a couple times. A few years back, I saw a 406 Wagon right by my house, about 40 miles from their HQ, and promptly ran across three lanes of traffic to talk to the driver. He explained it a bit before the light changed; apparently at that time, Peugeot NA employees had three or four 406 sedans and 1 406 wagon to drive around.He also said that there were no plans to start selling stateside again.

  14. Marsha Blackburn Avatar

    You truly outdid yourself this post. I am very impresses