PARIS -- BMW's top executive in France, Nicolas Wertans, is moving to PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, where sources say he will play an important role in creating sales and marketing synergies between the Peugeot and Citroen brands.
Wertans, currently president of BMW France, is a 40-year-old Frenchman and former Ford of Europe executive. He is expected to join PSA's upper management group, alongside manufacturing boss Roland Vardanega, Peugeot managing director Jean-Philippe Collin, programs head Gregoire Olivier and an as-yet unnamed managing director of Citroen.
BMW announced January 9 that Wertans would leave the German carmaker at the end of the month after two years running its French subsidiary.
PSA has not officially confirmed Wertans' appointment but company sources told Automotive News Europe that an announcement will be made shortly.
A PSA spokesman said Wertans will not be replacing Gilles Michel, who resigned as managing director of the Citroen brand last month to take over the French government's new sovereign wealth fund.
PSA CEO Christian Streiff is overseeing the Citroen brand until PSA chooses Michel's successor.
Streiff has pursued plans to improve links between Peugeot and Citroen since taking over PSA in 2007.
He has often said that merging back office functions between the two brands could be a major source of cost savings.
In the past year, Streiff has started to unify Citroen and Peugeot's spare parts business, nominated a single director for the brands' motor sport programs and promoted longtime Citroen design boss Jean-Pierre Ploue to head the design for both marques.
Streiff also brought together media buying in a unified purchasing unit.
Before he joined BMW, Wertans spent the 1994 to 2005 period in a variety of posts with Ford of Europe in France, the UK, and Switzerland.