PSA Peugeot Citroen’s move to name former Renault SA operations chief Carlos Tavares as its future chief executive officer stands to help secure an alliance with Dongfeng Motor Corp., which may be the carmaker’s last chance to end its reliance on Europe’s slumping car market.
A photo in Christian von Koenigsegg’s office shows one of the 41-year-old Swede’s limited-edition supercars -- a 2011 Agera R, in fire-engine red -- alongside a sparkly gold abomination that looks like it drove off the set of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” The latter is a recreation of the car von Koenigsegg first saw at age 5 in a stop-motion Norwegian film called “Flaklypa Grand Prix,” which tells the story of a small-town bicycle repairman who builds a race car from scrap parts and -- in the face of doubt and ridicule from established automakers -- goes on to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
After Philippe Varin steered steelmaker Corus Group Ltd. away from bankruptcy 10 years ago, he was made commander of the order of the British Empire for “services to the U.K. steel industry.” As chief executive officer of PSA Peugeot Citroen, there’s scant chance he’ll get a similar honor in France.
As General Motors Co. Vice Chairman Steve Girsky took a new assignment last year to stem more than a decade of losses in Europe, a colleague gave him a Latin phrase that translates as “I shall either find a way or make one.”
Even as car sales across Europe have plummeted in recent years, automakers could count on Germans to buy with little discounting. Now, at least one dealer is resorting to Groupon Inc. coupons to boost sales.