Groupe Renault announced Gilles Normand would become SVP, electric vehicle, from 1 January, 2017, reporting to Thierry Koskas, EVP, sales and marketing.

He was most recently Groupe Renault SVP and chairman of the Asia-Pacific region and member of the Renault management committee.

"I am very motivated by this new strategic challenge at a time when the global EV market is entering into a significant growth phase. I look forward to working with the team to continue to drive our leadership in existing and new markets, and bring exciting EV vehicles to our customers," said Normand.

Groupe Renault claims leadership of the EV market in Europe, with 25% market share having, since 2012, sold over 100,000 vehicles.

Its latest model is the Zoe compact car with ZE.40 battery, allowing it to reach a claimed record 400km (about 250 miles) homologated range. Groupe Renault is also working on a new "affordable" EV model.

It said the EV market is now entering a new phase with longer battery ranges while emissions reduction objectives open opportunities for zero emissions cars, around the world. Hence the strengthening of its EV business unit, under Normand's command.

Normand started his career at Renault in 1988 in product planning, before moving to the sales & marketing division. In 1998, he was appointed vice president, commercial coordination, for Renault Mercosur. In 1999, he joined Nissan in Japan to take charge of sales & marketing for Latin America and Caribbean. In 2003, he was appointed president of Nissan Motor España prior to becoming corporate vice president of sales & marketing for Middle East, Africa & Latin America in 2006. In 2009, he was appointed corporate vice president, in charge of Africa, Middle East and India for Nissan and Infiniti. In 2012 he became SVP, chairman of Asia-Pacific region and member of the management committee.