PARIS -- PSA/Peugeot-Citroen SA says its latest management shake-up will help reduce its dependence on Europe and help the automaker expand in growth markets such as China and Brazil. However, industry watchers believe increased competition in those target markets and Europe's debt crisis may knock the strategy off course.
Jean-Marc Gales, executive vice president for the Peugeot and Citroen brands, said the creation of two new posts -- a director of commercial operations for Europe and a director of international operations -- will give Europe's second-biggest automaker after Volkswagen the management structure it needs to better develop the group's overseas investments.
"The Peugeot and Citroen brands must be more integrated with PSA's overall strategy," Gales said in a telephone interview. "Now, the two brands have the support and structure they need to better develop the group's strategy, which must be consistent, credible and simple. The structure will be more instrumental in realizing those goals."
Under the new structure, Peugeot CEO Vincent Rambaud and Citroen CEO Frederic Banzet will have more autonomy and direct responsibilities to develop their respective brands, Gales said.
Rambaud and Banzet will delegate more day-to-day responsibilities to Jean-Philippe Imparato, who will become director of commercial operations Europe for Peugeot and Citroen, and Yves Moulin, who will take over as director of international operations for the two brands. Both appointments take effect Jan. 1.
"Rambaud and Banzet will have more time to meet goals in China, Latin America, Brazil, and India," Gales said.
The two CEOs will play a more hands-on role when managing their brands' strategies, product development, marketing and communications, customer relations, and the sports divisions.