As part of the new organisation of PSA Peugeot Citroën Group, announced by Christian Streiff, new chairman of the managing board, Vincent Rambaud was named general director of PSA Peugeot Citroën of Brazil, local spokesman Rogerio Louro told just-auto in an emailed statement detailing the changes.

Rambaud is also general director of the new PSA Mercosur business unit.

New Mercosur management reporting to Streiff consolidates the units in Brazil and Argentina, giving them greater independence to strengthen PSA Peugeot Citroën's presence in the region, considered a priority for the international development of the group.

The objective of the new organisation is to give more autonomy and greater attention to the Mercosur countries.

"This allows the group to have dynamism and fast reactions and, overall, to speed up development in Mercosur and particularly in Brazil", said Rambaud, who will be based in the PSA Peugeot Citroën Brazil headquarters in Rio de Janeiro.

Rambaud, 47 and a Paris native, trained in engineering at a polytech there before working for the French ministries of defence and industry. He later worked for confectionery maker Mars. Later he was nominated President of the Florence et Peillon. He joined PSA Peugeot Citroën in 2002 as general director of Panhard and, in 2005, was named executive vice president of automotive activities at Gefco.

In Brazil, Rambaud replaces Pierre-Michel Fauconnier, who has headed Peugeot Citroën there since 1999. Under his management the Porto Real plant was inaugurated and the company grew to fifth largest automaker in the country.

With 96,000 vehicles sold last year in Brazil, PSA Peugeot Citroën grew 19.5% to achieve a market share of 5.2% that consolidated it in fifth place and first amongst the 'newcomers' (the name given to automakers established in Brazil after the '90s). PSA Peugeot Citroën has had a plant in Brazil since 2001 when Porto Real opened, in Rio de Janeiro state.

Currently, the plant produces the Peugeot 206 and 206SW, the Citroën C3 and Xsara Picasso, and 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre flexfuel engines. Since opening, the plant has built over 300,000 vehicles and 200,000 engines.

In 2006, PSA Peugeot Citroën sold 159,000 vehicles in Mercosur, a growth of 20.3% year on year. In the region, besides Porto Real, the group has the El Palomar vehicles plant and the Jeppener engines and components units, both in Argentina.