BERLIN - Innovation is one of the three strategic targets, along with growth and profitability, that Jean-Martin Folz has assigned to PSA/Peugeot-Citroen. As executive vice-president in charge of research and innovation, Robert Peugeot is one of the key men inside PSA's new organization in charge of creating a culture of innovation.
With the creation of an innovation division, PSA wants 'to move faster and more effectively,' Peugeot told the Automotive News Europe Congress here. The idea is to have 'a flow from research to delivery on platforms, future cars, even existing cars,' he said. PSA wants to 'ensure that innovation is shared among our technical teams. Whenever an innovation has potential of development, the team is transferred with the innovation to the platform group.'
In this process, suppliers play a key role.
'We have a more open mind to innovation,' he said. 'We are asking our engineering staff to welcome innovation and not to react with the usual 1/8not invented here' syndrome. We even like to discuss innovation potential with suppliers.' In this respect, PSA is currently reorganizing its design organization by creating a new design center in Velizy, near Paris.
Peugeot believes the new PSA platform strategy is also a path to innovation. By sharply reducing engineering and manufacturing costs, PSA can put very different bodies on the same platform and make them in the same factories.
Peugeot detailed recent PSA technical innovations. Those included: HDI direct-injection diesel engines; a particle filter system for diesel engines; a starter-alternator device; a hybrid vehicle mixing an LPG engine with an electric motor; navigation systems now available on the Peugeot 206 and 40; and the Stacad on-line driver support system.
Peugeot insisted as well on styling innovation, especially regarding Citroen. 'The personality of a car in the future will not be based on a single innovation,' he said. 'It will be a cocktail of technical innovation, research in concept, packaging and style. We can develop a stronger personality for our two brands.'
Name: Robert Peugeot
Title: Executive vice president in charge of research and innovation, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen
Theme: How PSA is focusing on customer-oriented innovation
Quote: 'There is a more open mind to innovation inside PSA'