Carlos Tavares takes up challenge of reinvigorating loss-making Peugeot; he takes over from current boss Varin in March
Jim Holder
19 February 2014

Former Renault boss Carlos Tavares will take over from current PSA Peugeot Citroën president Philippe Varin from the end of March.

It was wideley believed that Tavares would assume the role this month, but a delay is thought to have been made to allow Varin to continue negotiations over a part-sale of Peugeot to Chinese manufacturer Dongfeng. Tavares will, however, take over the general running of the group from later this month.

The announcement coincides with PSA releasing its financial results for 2013. Group revenues dropped by 2.4 per cent on 2012, to €54.1 billion, while revenue from the automotive divison fell by 4.8 per cent, to €36.5 billion. The company had net debt of €4.1 billion at the end of last year.

The ownership structure of Peugeot is likely to give Tavares problems initially: should the deal with Dongfeng go through, since he will have answer to three parties: the Chinese firm and the French state, each with an equal stake, and the Peugeot family. Up until recently that would have included GM too, but the company sold its remaining stake in PSA at the back end of last year for around £153 million.

Additional reporting by Darren Moss, 19 February 2014

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7

26 November 2013
[quote=Bullfinch].[/quote] True. Renault is a shadow of it's former self, selling superminis and SUVs. Their only move of note has been to establish Dacia in western Europe. Perhaps Peugeot will bring back Talbot? So, as per Renault, expect the next models to be blandly styled, then when no-one buys them, blame the customer, and axe the following: - Peugeot 508 and Citroen C5 (cf. Laguna and Primera) - Peugeot RCZ (cf. "Wind") - Peugeot 807 and Citroen C8 (which to be fair are long in the tooth) (cf. Espace and Tino) Then make the Peugeot 208 upmarket and sell it alongside the 4008 SUV. Bring people in to look at Talbots and upsell them those 2 models. Bingo, a Renault-style comeback.

26 November 2013
I don't know the answer, obviously, but suspect the French (and the Italians) (and everyone at GM Europe) need to do something startling and different and courageous because they'll never match the perceived quality of the 'premium' marques or the low prices offered by competitors in Asia and can't go limping along like this. Companies come and go and aside from the huge issue of employment who would actually miss one or two of them it it was this one or two?

19 February 2014
Bullfinch wrote:

I don't know the answer, obviously, but suspect the French (and the Italians) (and everyone at GM Europe) need to do something startling and different and courageous because they'll never match the perceived quality of the 'premium' marques or the low prices offered by competitors in Asia and can't go limping along like this. Companies come and go and aside from the huge issue of employment who would actually miss one or two of them it it was this one or two?

The French are already producing cars of comparable perceived quality to the 'premium' brands. In fact, I would say that they have surpassed certain models based on recent observations of the latest A4, Golf and Up. They have now had a resurgence and I think that your comments are very harsh on what have been a tough few years for French marques. New models like the 308, Cactus and Captur are showing very promising signs that they are back on form. There is a new Espace due imminently, Renault have just tied up with Mercedes and there have been open conversations between MB and Infinity, that might even spawn a large Renault.

19 February 2014
I agree totally with marj, modern French cars are at least as good as the so called premium brands if not better in terms of quality. I currently run a Citroen DS5 hybrid as a company car after years of running 5 series BMW, Audi A6 and Merc E classes and can honestly say the quality is superior to the Germans. I was ridiculed for choosing a French car when I ordered my DS especially by a friend who ordered a 520d Msport at the same time. In the 20k miles covered since my DS has only been in for a routine service whilst his BMW has broken down at least 4 times with mainly electrical issues. Once people have actually sat in my Citroen and seen for themselves the quality rather than believing outdated stereotypes they all agree it is more than a match for the so called premium brands. I would urge people to try the cars and judge for themselves rather than trusting what they read on the internet, you will be pleasantly surprised.

19 February 2014
I agree with StokieBob - it is really good news to see how reliable the DS5 has been for you compared to the German cars. With the news that PSA have signed a contract with Chinese company then I think we will see a further improvement to products in the future.

There are plenty of outdated stereotypes with French cars mainly from people who claim they know people who have French cars who have no end of problems - which is probably just convenient because they just dislike French cars. Today it is vital that your brand image is strong and this is where they need to concentrate to rid people of their perceptions rather than realities

Most of this has been fuelled by the likes of Top Gear - namely Jeremy who continually say things like "it will be worth £50 in 3 years time" or "it will fall to bits within a year." It is amusing to see people regurgitate these comments based on Jeremy's views without making their own judgement. But I suppose they are the sheep that follow the herd and just buy the same predictable German fodder.

19 February 2014
I'm another French car convert. Year old Citroen C4, done around 3000 miles since I got it 3 weeks ago. It's extremely comfortable, quiet, and the built quality is great for the amount the car cost. Nothing rattles, everything works perfectly. However, they need to sort out some frenchness. Move the fuse box from the glove box on right hand drive cars for example.

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