Under the ‘Push to Pass’ strategy Europe’s second-largest car manufacturer, now named ‘PSA Groupe’ will release 26 new cars and nine commercial vehicles including a one-tonne pickup truck, helping to achieve a planned tripling of profits to six per cent of sales.
Revealed at an annual results conference headed by PSA CEO Carlos Tavares, the plans are bolder than the previous ‘Back in the Race’ strategy which PSA unveiled in 2014. This followed the group’s rescue from the difficulties resulting from annual losses that in 2012 were as much as £3 billion.
The French government and the Chinese group Dongfeng Motor each took a 14 per cent stake in PSA from the previously controlling Peugeot family, and Tavares was installed as CEO shortly after.
At the time that the Back in the Race strategy was unveiled the planned profit margin was two per cent – last year the company achieved a five per cent margin and profits of £950 million, the first since 2010.
What form the new models might take is not clear but they are thought to include a family of SUVs across all the PSA brands, Peugeot, Citroën and DS. Citroën will also pursue a strategy of more distinctive vehicles typified by the recent launch of the Cactus.
The growth of DS as a separate company will be continued, Tavares having already indicated that he sees the establishment of the premium sub brand as a long-term programme.
PSA will also invest in electric drivetrains, something it has been slow to explore in recent times compared to rivals. Seven plug-in hybrids and four fully electric vehicles are in the plans as is a programme for connected and autonomous vehicles.
Alongside new models, the growth targets will be achieved by making the most of the Group’s existing customers, while also expanding the customer database through digitalisation and offers in after-sales, leasing, used cars, mobility services and fleet management.
“(We will launch) “one new car, per region, per brand and per year”, Tavares says, adding that the growth strategy will help to ensure profitable growth in all the regions where the Group operates.
“’Push to Pass’ represents a first step towards the achievement of the Group’s vision to be: ‘a great global carmaker with cutting edge efficiency and the preferred mobility provider worldwide for lifetime customer relationship,’” Tavares says.