PSA has confirmed the appointments of design director for its two car brands. Gilles Vidal and Thierry Metroz, will head up the design teams at Peugeot and Citroën respectively, reporting to PSA's top design director Jean-Pierre Ploué.

With the appointment of two experienced professionals widely recognised for creativity in automobile design, Ploué is keen to demonstrate that PSA is pursuing the goal of clearly differentiating the two brands.

Maintaining a lead in car design is one of the priorities announced by Philippe Varin, chairman of PSA Peugeot Citroën.

Vidal, 37, is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design of Vevey in Switzerland. He joined the group in 1996 and spent nine years working alongside Ploué to revamp the line-up. Since early 2009, he has been in charge of concept cars for Peugeot's styling department. With the Peugeot BB1, which combines the features of a two-wheel and four-wheel vehicle, he broke new ground in the search for electric urban mobility solutions. He also helped to define Peugeot's new identity, to be unveiled in early January.

Metroz, 46, is a graduate of Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Appliqués et des Métiers d'Art (ENSAAMA). He has spent his entire career in automobile design. His professional experience includes setting up design and styling units abroad and managing international projects in Asia and Brazil. He was previously director of exterior design at Renault.