PSA Peugeot Citroen boss Carlos Tavares has ruled out a potential tie-up with Fiat Chrysler or other partners - but only until the French firm has completed its financial turnaround.
Speculation has suggested that PSA, now co-owned by Chinese car maker Dongfeng and already working on joint ventures with Toyota and GM, could merge with Fiat Chrysler to underpin the growth of both firms.
PSA sold just over 2.8m cars last year, while Fiat Chrysler sold 4.4m. Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne has previously claimed that a car maker will have to sell six million vehicles in the future if it is to be sustainable. But Tavares has insisted that his firm must complete his ‘Back in the Race’ recovery plan before it considers any mergers.
The plan was launched after Tavares became boss last year, after PSA fell in to heavy debt and the governing Peugeot family was forced to sell a stake in the loss-making firm to Dongfeng.
The Back in the Race plan calls for PSA to regain a recurring positive cashflow by 2016 and €2bn in group operating free cashflow over the 2016-2018 period. The firm has also targeted a two per cent operating margin in the automotive division by 2018, growing to five per cent between 2019 and 2023.
PSA lost £3bn in 2012 and £1.8bn in 2013, before making a small profit last year. “For the time being we will focus on our own plans,” said Tavares.
“We still have work to do - and it would be foolish to lose focus on our turnaround plan. Once we have developed the fundamentals it will be time to assess our possibilities,” he said.
The Back in the Race plan is set to reach fruition by 2018, but many analysts say Tavares could hit all his targets as early as next year.