Denis Martin to become PSA's new European boss, charged with implementing the firm's 'Back in the Race' recovery strategy

PSA Peugeot Citroen boss Carlos Tavares has appointed Denis Martin to head up the firm's European operations.

Currently PSA's personnel chief, Martin's appointment will be crucial to implementing Tavares' recovery plan for PSA. Dubbed the 'Back in the Race' plan, the strategy involves PSA axing more than 40 per cent of its model range by 2020 in order to streamline its offering. 

Tavares has said he wants to defend PSA's position as the second-largest car maker in Europe, a position which is currently under threat from Renault. He told industry journal Automotive News Europe: "It would be arrogant and unrealistic to [say we will] become no.1. But we strongly believe we have enough arguments to stay no.2, and be a profitable no.2."

Five other regional PSA bosses have also been appointed to look after regions including the Middle East and Africa, China and Southeast Asia and Latin America.

PSA sold a total of 606,285 cars in the five months to May this year in Europe, while Renault sold 513,615. This may appear as if Renault has a lot of catching up to do, but in fact it's made the bigger year-on-year gain. PSA's sales have increased by 6.5 per cent compared with the same period last year, but Renault's sales have gone up by over 18 per cent.

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Both companies have some way to go before challenging market leaders Volkswagen Group, however, which sold 1,371,328 cars in the same period, and 290,119 units in May alone.

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Peugeot 508

The Peugeot 508 is is better all round than its predecessor, and should be a fleet favourite

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