MUNICH -- PSA Group's focus on costs and agility means that it doesn’t need partners beyond its Chinese investor Dongfeng Motor for its electrification strategy, said Denis Martin, who heads the automaker's European operations.
PSA plans to launch four electric cars by 2021 for the Peugeot, Citroen, and DS brands. They will have a 450km range and the first will reach the market in 2019. The automaker is also planning to launch seven gasoline plug-in hybrid models with an electric-only range of 60km between 2019 and 2021.
PSA is Europe’s second largest carmaker after Volkswagen Group but only sells about 3 million vehicles globally, while VW Group's worldwide volume is more than three times larger. “It’s not a question of size, it’s a question of agility,” Martin told the Automotive News Europe Congress here last week. He described PSA's new direction as “frugal innovation.”
Said Martin: “We have changed our mindset for r&d and capital expenditure. We will optimize each euro.”
Before CEO Carlos Tavares launched a focus on controlling expenditure PSA was old fashioned with a “no risk spirit,” Martin said. “Parts of PSA still ran on the kind of old-style bureaucracy you find in some traditional companies, with people working in separate silos. It is for this reason that we were in a particularly deep crisis in 2013.”
PSA aims to achieve a 6 percent margin by 2021 based on the recurring operating income generated at its core automotive division, up from 5 percent last year.