Carlos Tavares, 55, is the new CEO of PSA Peugeot Citroen – the French automaker announced on Monday.
On the same time, PSA said Philippe Varin will serve as Group temporary advisor to support implementation of the agreements signed with the French State and Dongfeng Motor Group.
The former number two at Renault will have to lead a great battle – to turn back Europe’s second largest carmaker to profitability. And considering that Tavares is following in the footsteps of Ghosn, sent to Japan by then Renault CEO Louis Schweitzer to rescue Nissan in 1999 – the mission may be a success.
“Hiring Carlos Tavares is one of the best things PSA could have done to turn itself around,” said ex- chief financial officer for Renault and Nissan Alain Dassas.
In 2012, PSA announced a record 5 billion euro ($6.73 billion) net loss – and the automaker started to cut from everywhere. The French giant already announced more than 10,000 job cuts over three years and halted production at its doomed Aulnay plant near Paris in 2013.
PSA also sold assets in its Gefco trucking unit worth 2 billion euros.
Last week China’s Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd agreed to buy a stake in PSA for 3 billion euro ($4.1 billion).
Now, China is the biggest “bright-spot” for Peugeot Citroen. The company plans to sell more than 1.5 million cars in 2020 – and about 200,000 upscale Citroen DS vehicles by 2016.