PSA/Peugeot-Citroen chief executive Carlos Tavares has created a new role in charge of marketing the group’s three brands. It was filled by Stephen Norman, Tavares’ former colleague at Renault who had his retirement in September 2013. Starting May 12, 2014, Norman became PSA's senior vice president of group marketing coordination, reporting to the respective CEOs of Peugeot, Citroen and DS brands, supporting each marque as they try to shift "upmarket."
PSA said in a statement that Norman also bears "cross-functional responsibility” for the quality of the brands’ marketing activities around the world. Observers in the auto industry are expecting Norman to ensure that PSA allocates its resources more efficiently as the carmaker bids to differentiate the brands from each other.
Rabih Freiha, an analyst for Exane BNP Paribas, told Automotive News Europe that PSA previously had different people responsible for marketing for each brand, resulting to poor coordination. Freiha noted that with Norman as PSA’s marketing chief, a single person will run the team and coordinate the strategies across the three brands.
“It is good news for PSA," Freiha said. Tavares unveiled in April a turnaround plan for PSA, which entails stopping production of unprofitable models and concentrating on vehicles generating high volumes and strong margins – an approach that he implemented while he was COO of Renault from 2011 until 2013.
Norman commenced his automotive career in 1976 with the Rover Group, eventually becoming the carmaker’s marketing director. He served as managing director and chairman for Volkswagen in France between 2000 and 2004, and was Fiat brand's global marketing director. He was tapped by Renault in 2007to become its marketing and communications chief.