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Team to explore brands and regions—identity and overlap

by David Zatz on

PSA’s Yves Bonnefont is leading a study on “potential synergies within a portfolio of brands.”  This includes brand positioning, both by type of customer and by region. Yves is reporting directly to PSA chief executive Carlos Tavares, and her report will likely have major implications for the future of both PSA and FCA brands.

brands

Yves Bonnefont launched PSA’s higher-end brand, DS Automobiles, six years ago; she is being succeeded there by Béatrice Foucher. The new study will cover:

  • Brand clarification
  • Whether brand messages are coherent throughout the company
  • Brand differentiation (and, presumably, overlap)

PSA did not mention whether FCA was included in the review, but it seems extremely likely.  The current brand portfolio for the two companies includes:

  • Premium: Maserati, Alfa Romeo, DS, Lancia (regional)
  • Mainstream: Jeep, Fiat, Peugeot, Citroën, Opel, Ram
  • Regional: Chrysler, Dodge, Vauxhall (paired with Opel), Lancia
  • Sub: Abarth, SRT, Peugeot Sport, Citroën Sport, DS Performance, Fiat Professional (not shown in the graphic), Mopar

It is a dizzying list of brands to sort out, especially as Tavares already said he did not intend to drop any. Some of them pose real challenges; what to make of Chrysler, for example? Some Americans associate it with bailouts; and even Chrysler owners have varying views of what Chrysler “is” (with an inconsistent history providing little help).

Dodge and Jeep seem relatively clear, though now that everyone sells crossovers and Jeep has the Renegade and Compass, it’s not as clear as it once was.  Maserati, too, has a definite status, even if it seemed to hit a limit last year.

peugeot

Alfa Romeo and DS have yet to really reach their missions, while, more problematic and more regional, Lancia is down to a single car which is likely to be dropped or replaced; Chrysler has two. Ram has been slowly, quietly going global within its pickup/commercial-vehicle specialties. Vauxhall is the English version of Opel, which was until recently owned by General Motors.

One can see numerous questions facing Yves Bonnefont, including whether to sell Peugeots in the US as Peugeots or through Chrysler; and then, how much to localize them.

The result of the study, if it is released, should resolve many questions for Mopar followers.


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