The new boss of PSA Peugeot-Citroen has given the second indication in as many days that the company is preparing to expand either through a merger or by buying up a rival.
New CEO Philippe Varin, who took control of PSA Peugeot Citroen in June, said: "To be more global, more quickly, we will not hesitate, if internal growth is not enough, to seize any opportunity for external growth or partnerships."
While also underlining the need for PSA Peugeot Citroen to remain independent, Varin said that the group, which is 30.3 per cent owned by the Peugeot family, needed to boost its presence in regions were economies were still expanding and where car ownership is growing,
Varin declined to comment on specific partnerships or target regions, but indicated he would be in a position to give more details at the company's half-year results presentation at the end of July.
Speculation suggests potential partners include BMW, Fiat and Mitsubishi. However, a tie-in with Fiat is believed to be be fraught with problems beacuse of the necessary plant closures and knock-on labour disputes to take full advantage of teh economies of scale.
Varin is best known for leading troubled Anglo-Dutch steel company Corus back to profitability and managing its merger with Tata Steel in 2007. He replaced former chief executive Christian Streiff, who left PSA Peugeot Citroen in March.