The incoming chief executive of PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, Carlos Tavares, attended the Geneva Motor Show in a manner that a few would expect. Weeks before becoming the top guy at the struggling French carmaker, Tavares bears no semblance of edginess. He said that attending his first car show since joining PSA “is very pleasant,” adding that he is “a lucky guy.”
While he says that, the harsh reality is that is facing a very tough job of trying to turn around a carmaker that has incurred over EUR6 billion ($8.2 billion) in losses over the past two years. He will become CEO of the French carmaker starting March 31, 2014, succeeding outgoing leader Philippe Varin.
The challenges ahead of Tavares are not that easy to hurdle, as the he is taking over a PSA: that has seen its market share in western Europe drop to its lowest in over two decades; that has the founding family relinquish control; that has agreed allow the French state and Dongfeng Motor Corp. acquire 14 percent stakes.
The agreement could be considered both a blessing and a curse for Tavares. While it would boost the carmaker’s finances by EUR3 billion, allowing it to pursue expansion plans in China, Russia and Brazil, it might prove to be a big hurdle to Tavares’ plans, according to Bruno Mathiez, the head of Renault’s works council. [source: automotive news - sub. required]