Peugeot has appointed a new CEO and announced a shake-up of its sales organization.
Vincent Rambaud will take over as CEO of the Peugeot brand April 2. He will report to Jean-Marc Gales, who held the CEO job in addition to his role as board member in charge of the Peugeot and Citroen brands at parent PSA/Peugeot-Citroen.
Gales succeeded Jean-Philippe Collin in June 2009, which means Rambaud is the third CEO at Peugeot in less than a year.
Rambaud, 51, was previously director of PSA's Latin American unit.
"Vincent Rambaud's international experience will be a strong factor in successfully meeting the challenge of Peugeot's globalization," Gales said in a statement.
The challenge for Peugeot is to grow outside Europe, particularly in Russia, Latin America and China.
In January, Gales said PSA wants to win 8 percent of the booming Chinese car market by 2016, up from a market share of 3.4 percent in 2009.
Peugeot aims to increase its total sales in China by 30 percent this year, he added.
Rambaud, a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique and ENSTA, joined PSA in 2002. He worked at PSA's transportation and logistics subsidiary, Gefco, before taking charge of the automaker's Mercosur business unit in 2007. (Mercosur is a South American trade bloc, whose full members include Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay).
Rambaud was named director of PSA's Latin American business last year.
New direction for sales
Rambaud's arrival in Paris coincides with restructuring of Peugeot's sales division. The automaker hopes the change will elevate it from the world's 10th-largest brand to No. 7.
Starting April 2, Peugeot will introduce a flattened sales structure that mirrors systems used by rivals such as Ford of Europe and Opel/Vauxhall. Instead of having all of its European and global sales division report to headquarters in Paris, Peugeot has created four macro commercial divisions, each headed by an executive who will report to headquarters. Peugeot's four sales divisions and division bosses are:
• France; Olivier Veyrier
• Northern Europe (Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, Baltic states, Scandinavian countries, and the countries of central and eastern Europe) Olivier Dardart
• Southern Europe (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Malta and Turkey) Rafael Prieto
• International (Latin America, China, Russia, Africa, Asia-Pacific, Middle East) Jean-Philippe Imparato.
Separately, sister brand Citroen created the same sales structure. Below are the divisions and division heads:
• France; Xavier Chardon
• Northern Europe; Christophe Musy
• Southern Europe; Alfredo Vila Blanco
• International; Jean-Louis Chamla.