One aim is a greater emphasis on profitability. PSA’s 5% margins are in many ways the envy of the middle-market car makers, but Tavares is at the start of building the Citroën, DS and Peugeot brands and knows there is more to come from greater resilience to discounts.
In particular, he wants to accelerate the transformation of Citroën, as led by the C4 Cactus, give Peugeot a more defined character and hold fast on the steady investment in DS.
Tavares has called making DS a true premium rival to Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz “a 20-year job” — and he claims he is happy to forgo sales volumes to uphold retained value and build the brand. The first of three new models is expected in 2018, and there are tentative plans to launch the brand in the US, possibly drawing Peugeot and Citroën to the market, too.
He is likely to approve new product investment, with a focus on fast-tracking a family of SUVs across all sizes, adapted for all brands.
PSA’s rapid success has also sparked interest from joint venture partners. Already the firm works with Fiat, GM and Toyota, and Tavares concedes he is now willing to talk to more makers about “win-win” partnerships. A new pick-up truck developed with Toyota, or possibly Fiat, is expected to be part of Tuesday’s full announcement of Tavares' plans.
A continued focus on reducing costs is also part of the new plan. Tavares has lent hard on his workforce to cut costs and reduce stocks, and he is unlikely to ease up. “Cost control and growth cannot be mutually exclusive,” one high-level insider told Autocar.
The plan also calls for a strategy on electrification. PSA has been slow to market as it hasn’t seen the potential for sales volume. But DS’s Formula E entry and a series of hybrid performance concepts suggest that expansion is imminent, and bosses have always said they will strive to deliver class-leading petrol, diesel, plug-in and full-electric technology when customer demand is there.