Thierry Morin gained an insider's understanding of Renault and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen during his nine years as CEO of French partsmaker Valeo. Now a consultant, Morin was asked for his views on what the automakers should be doing to become more successful, particularly in Europe against their German rivals. Morin was interviewed by Automotive News Europe Correspondent Bertrand Gay
What is your assessment of Renault?
I have to congratulate Renault for the growth of its international sales in markets such as Brazil and Russia. The alliance with Nissan was a very wise decision by [former CEO] Louis Schweitzer. In 1999, Nissan was a badly managed company with lots of engineering skills. Nissan is an important part of the success Renault is enjoying today. Renault's entry range is another part of its success because it has allowed the carmaker to compete for buyers looking for low-cost vehicles.
What about PSA/Peugeot-Citroen?
When you do everything right but too late, you do it all wrong. Before reaching a dead end, PSA decided to forge a partnership with a manufacturer [General Motors] that I don't consider to be among the industry's leaders of the pack. Overall, I think there is a lack of ambition [when it comes to product] from the French manufacturers.