PARIS -- The Peugeot family will remain influential in PSA/Peugeot-Citroen after China's Dongfeng and the French state took stakes in the automaker, Robert Peugeot, head of the FFP family holding company, said.
The Peugeot family saw its share in PSA fall to 14 percent from 25.5 percent last month after a 3 billion euro ($4.1 billion) capital increase in which Dongfeng and the French state each took 14 percent stakes.
Robert Peugeot said the family still has a strong presence in PSA. "We have three representatives on the board and I continue to chair the strategic committee," he told the French business daily Les Echos in an interview.
Asked whether the family could at any time pull out of the automaker, he said: "The answer is a clear 'no'. Our current investment proves that."
Peugeot said Dongfeng will not be able to take control of PSA because none of the other two shareholders can raise their stakes without the agreement of the other two.
He denied that the family's hold on PSA is fragile after the announcement that family member Frederic Banzet will be replaced as head of the Citroen brand on June 1 by the brand's UK head, Linda Jackson. Banzet will go to the family's publicly traded investment company, FFP, where his financial background will be useful. "We do not have a tradition of patronage at Peugeot," Robert Peugeot said.
GM, BMW, Mitsubishi alliances
Asked whether PSA should have forged a "grand alliance" with another global automaker, Peugeot said General Motors had been PSA's preferred partner but GM's leaders "were afraid of the situation in France and in Europe so they preferred to limit the alliance to three European projects."
He said PSA ruled out expanding its alliances with BMW and Mitsubishi. A deeper tie-up with BMW "would not be a wedding but a surrender" because BMW has 10 times the financial clout of PSA and the two companies had few common needs. PSA needs effective solutions to reduce CO2 emissions while BMW is focused on powerful engines.