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The car will be honored next week in Paris. The Paris Motor Show is being held in the French capital from October 17 to 23. Among the manufacturers to exhibit their models: Stellantis. On this occasion, RFI paints the portrait of Carlos Tavares,CEO of the group uniting PSA Peugeot-Citroën and Fiat-Chrysler.
The automobile, Carlos Tavares, devoted his whole life to him. “ It’s really the “because guy”, a “type of the automobile”, judges François Roudier, spokesperson for the automotive industry, who readily compares him to the great figures of the sector: “He has a Henry Ford and even Citroën side. This love of the car was born from the adolescence of this Portuguese with impeccable French. Young Lisbon, he officiates as race marshal on the Estoril circuit.
Carlos Tavares then left for France to pursue his higher education. A graduate of the Ecole Centrale de Paris, the engineer entered, in stride, not at Peugeot, but at its competitor Renault. He rose through the ranks at Renault and Nissan to a number two position for the diamond brand, and a statement in the press in 2013: he publicly assumed his ambition to become number 1 in an automotive group. Problem: Carlos Ghosn, then boss of the Alliance, is not inclined to give up his place.
“ Performance Psychopath »
A few months later, Carlos Tavares takes the head of a PSA group in difficulty. The new boss then applies “a relatively simple but rather brutal recipe “, explains Tommaso Pardi, director of the Group of studies and permanent research on the industry and the employees of the automobile (Gerpisa). His politics : “All-out cost reduction, the quest for operational performance at all levels of the company. He also took advantage of the operations he was able to carry out first with Opel and more recently with Fiat, to use what he calls synergies. He is very strong for that. »
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An obsession with efficiency taken on by Carlos Tavares himself, who is not reluctant to consider himself a “performance psychopath “. And this accountant’s son’s quest for ever greater profitability continues over time, according to Jean-Pierre Mercier. The CGT – Stellantis spokesperson regrets “management methods that are more and more violent, more and more aggressive towards the staff. We see that there is a determined desire to reduce the workforce to increase profits “.
Carlos Tavares, a cost hunter, except perhaps when it comes of his salary. He earned 19 million euros last year. His compensation, which would even reach 66 million euros if he meets his long-term objectives, has caused controversy, including among shareholders.
While Carlos Tavares shares a taste for reducing production costs with other bosses, his experience as an automotive engineer, “his in-depth knowledge of the automobile Helps the centralien in this task, assures Tommaso Pardi. ” He can develop a very intrusive management. He can himself go and see closely what the various directors are doing at the operational level. »
However, visits to the factories are done at a brisk pace, says Jean-Pierre Mercier: “ When he tours factories, because he very often does so to pull up the straps for local management, a week before, everything has to be cleaned, the paint is redone, everything is nickel chrome. And we see it pass like a TGV. »
” someone who goes very fast »
Carlos Tavares is a man in a hurry. Making decisions without skimping is, moreover, one of the keys to its success in the eyes of François Roudier, with an example in support: “ Initially, he wasn’t a big fan of electric cars, but when it came down to it, he did. And in 2030, there will only be electric cars on sale at Stellantis. So he’s someone who goes very fast and in the automotive industry, the big bosses are people who took risks and went fast. “concludes the spokesperson for the automotive industry who also describes the general manager of Stellantis as a man who can be” hard” but which is also “ very faithful in friendship “. Carlos Tavares can boast of rising net profits in the first half of 2022, just one year after the creation of Stellantis.
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“ Now we have to see if Carlos Tavares, beyond Stellantis, is also able to play a more important role than he has played so far, in a French industrial strategy asks Tommaso Pardi. ” We say to ourselves that it would be very important for Carlos Tavares to play a little more collectively and to commit a little more to compromise “so that France gets closer to the German model with” of a strong alliance between manufacturers, unions, State and Landers “.
The taste of the steering wheel
Despite the fact that he oversees fourteen brands, VSarlos Tavares finds time for himself. His leisures ? The car again. Carlos Tavares is an amateur pilot. “ In his contract, he had said that he would continue to run while at the start the employer hesitated saying that it was dangerous “says François Roudier. And to clarify: He likes to race in old cars. »
The strategic plans launched at Peugeot-Citroën and now at Stellantis also have names linked to this universe., like his first plan at PSA: “Back in the race” – back in the race.
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Today the economy, the portrait – Carlos Tavares: a crazy car driving Stellantis
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