Citroen has named longtime commercial specialist Thierry Koskas its new CEO.
His main task will be to make sure the French brand provides affordable electric cars despite growing competition in Europe from low-cost rivals from China, Citroen parent Stellantis said in a release.
Koskas, 58, will succeed Vincent Cobee, 54, who will leave the company. The changes take effect March 1.
Stellantis said Koskas was appointed to the job "in light of the growing challenges related to the accessibility of electrified mobility for customers and the arrival of new entrants to the automotive market."
Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said last month that the European auto industry at a crossroads in competition with its Chinese rivals. Europe's auto industry could be forced to massively reduce its production capacity in the face of rising competition from China, Tavares said.
When it comes to navigating the shift to electrified models, Cobee last year told Automotive News Europe that the Citroen Ami electric quadricycle, which starts at 7,790 euros in Italy, and the new Oli concept will helped the automaker offer a pathway to affordable electric mobility.
Citroen's full-electric lineup currently includes the e-C4, which starts at 37,540 euros in Germany, as well as the e-Berlingo and e-SpaceTourer vans. In Germany, the e-Berlingo starts at 37,790 euros and e-SpaceTourer's base price is 53,640.
Koskas was lured to PSA Group from rival Renault in 2019 to oversee sales and marketing for the Peugeot, Citroen, DS and Opel brands. Koskas kept his sales and marketing title after PSA merged with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to form Stellantis in 2021. He will continue in that role in addition to his Citroen duties.
During more than two decades with Renault, Koskas also served as head of the automaker's EV program from 2009-12 and managing director of Renault Argentina from 2013-16.
The move to PSA in 2019 reunited Koskas with Tavares, who was then head of PSA before taking the top job at Stellantis.
Both Koskas and Tavares worked together under former Renault chief Carlos Ghosn.
Koskas was Renault's sales director when he left the company following Ghosn's arrest and ouster from the company. Tavares was Ghosn's top lieutenant when he left Renault in August 2013. He started at PSA in 2014.
Cobee, who also worked for Ghosn, started as Citroen CEO in 2020 after holding executive roles at Nissan and Mitsubishi, including leading the revival of the Datsun brand.