News - Citroen
Citroen set to bridge sales gap to Peugeot
Work of art: Incoming Peugeot and Citroen general manager Kai Bruesewitz says he says opportunities to grow models like the C4 Cactus and C4 Picasso.
New Peugeot and Citroen Aus GM says more opportunities than challenges ahead
10 March 2016
NEWLY appointed Australian general manager of Citroen, DS and Peugeot marques,
Kai Bruesewitz, has outlined what he sees as “more opportunities than
challenges” ahead for the trio of French brands in Australia.
Although Mr Bruesewitz does not formally begin the role with PSA-importer Sime
Darby Motors Group until March 14, the German-born former boss of Mini
Australia spoke with GoAuto for the first time in an official capacity at the
national media launch of the C4 Cactus in New South Wales this week.
“We want to grow both brands,” Mr Bruesewitz said of both Peugeot and
Citroen/DS, brands that last year tallied annual sales of 4000 and 1106
Referring to the current difference in volume, he added, “that would hopefully
mean that the more we grow the more balanced this ratio becomes because the
growth potential from Citroen from a lower base is probably higher and then
they will get closer, that would be my expectation”.
Mr Bruesewitz said he was aware issues existed between the Australian importer
and PSA Peugeot Citroen in the past, but was assured that these had been
addressed, and he believed, must be addressed in order to grow the brands
“What I was told there was a bit of a distraction in the collaboration with the
manufacturer, we not always have gotten the support that we thought was needed
in order to bring both brands to the next level,” he said.
“We want to bring it to the next level, but we need the support that we have
now … because in that competitive marketplace you can’t be successful without
having full backing from the manufacturer.
“This we are now sure of that we have this support and I think Sime Darby took
over the importership about two years ago and I guess with the products that
are coming, the Cactus but also the Picasso when it was launched, they will be
giving us the ability to bring the volume to the next level.”
Left: Peugeot and Citroen general manager Kai
Citroen Australia PR and communications manager Tyson Bowen added that a
primary reason for the increased support from France came following the
appointment of former Renault chief operating officer Carlos Tavares to the
position of PSA Peugeot Citroen chief executive in late 2013.
“He (Mr Tavares) took an overview of where PSA was present, where PSA wasn’t
present, and fundamentally there is an opportunity in Australia and they see
that opportunity,” Mr Bowen said.
“The visibility is back on us (and) it’s now how do we take it to the next
level – what do we need to do? What do they need to do?”
Mr Bowen added that although the brands are “starting to bear the fruits” of
the increased collaboration between Sime Darby Motors Group and PSA Peugeot
Citroen, the full results are not expected to be seen for another 12 to 18
Mr Bruesewitz said he hoped that would result in addressing “both” product and
He further nominated one of the “challenges” he faced prior to taking the role
was understanding the difference between Peugeot and Citroen as mutually
“That was one of the challenges that I had when I was more and more thinking
about this (role) becoming a reality: what is Peugeot standing for? And what
Citroen?” he questioned.
“I think Citroen is more the eclectic, creative class competitor, Peugeot is
probably more luxurious and has something in the line-up for the entire family,
and that’s probably not where we’re at for Citroen.”
Despite Citroen lacking the wider model range of Peugeot, Mr Bruesewitz said
that a “less is more” approach for the brands can be beneficial and is
something he learned over his 15-year stint with the BMW Group and particularly
“I think what attracted me (to the role) was the similarities in some of the
challenges that Peugeot and Citroen is facing with my former (BMW/Mini) role,”
“So we need to fix some basic parameters to bring some of the pieces of the
puzzle together and be successful in the end.
“It’s not just the marketing and the dealership spend, these all have to fit
together in order to be successful not only as the importer, but also the
manufacturer and dealer network – it needs to be profitable.
“I guess with Mini we’ve learned the lesson that ‘less is more’ and I think
that lesson is already learned and underway that we don’t need to offer each
and every model because we have limited resources and we have to allocate those
resources wisely, to those products where we think we will have most success
and ones we think will help the brands have a distinguished image for
Referring to models that could be placed on the chopping block, Mr Bruesewitz
said: “If a model only has (tiny) monthly volumes then it is a question whether
we need to keep those models and possibly create a stock issue for ourselves.”
Following the discontinuation of the C3 light hatchback locally, Citroen has
halted further importation of the slow-selling C4 small hatchback while it
hopes the just-launched C4 Cactus will become its top-selling model.
The facelifted DS 3 will arrive locally later this year, while Peugeot has
focused its recent efforts on the 308 and more recently the 308 GTi hot-hatch.