The combination of Citroën, DS, Opel, Peugeot and Vauxhall will make the firm the second largest car maker in Europe after the Volkswagen Group, and Neumann believes that scale will be critical in a period of massive change for the car industry.
“There is enormous change, and we need to address it, that much has always been clear,” he said. “This deal is just the beginning, and it gives us the scale to set out priorities and course.
“Of course, there is too much capacity - for us and many of Europe’s car makers. But our objective is clear - to grow and fill the capacity; that is what winners will do, and it is the losers who will have to close factories. We want to be winners.
“There is nervousness everywhere now - Germany, France, Great Britain, Spain, wherever we have a plant - but the absolutely clearest message is that the only way to keep open is to be successful. We have to take our destiny in our own hands, but at least we are doing that within the framework of a stronger-set up. If we achieve that then there won’t be any problems.”