As head of the PSA Group, which comprises Peugeot, Citroën, DS and Vauxhall-Opel, Carlos Tavares is one of the most powerful figures in the car industry – and facing up to a number of major industry challenges.
With the Vauxhall brand’s British base and production sites, Tavares has been an outspoken critic of the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit, while the group is also heavily pushing electrification to meet the incoming European Union CO2 emission targets.
At the Frankfurt motor show, Tavares spoke on a wide range of issues with a handful of reporters, including Autocar. These are his thoughts.
You set targets for Vauxhall when you acquired the company. Brexit aside, how’s it going?
“We have been working with the two UK companies - Luton and Ellesmere - and it has been a rewarding experience. They are getting closer and closer to the average efficiencies of the PSA Group plants. I am very pleased. It is not finished, but they are going in the right direction, at the right speed.”
How is the management doing?
“As you know, they have a very good manager, Steve Norman. He is making good progress on profit and market share. But the used cars aren’t yet where we want to be, and our channel mix - sales to rentals - can improve, too. But in all, it is all working quite well.”
How far is the group from meeting its CO2 targets?
“We have been working on them for two years and our basic stance is that we are compliant. We are going to meet the targets of 2020 and 2021. That is good; we will pay no fines.”