The new department will be based in Paris and concentrate on co-ordinating pan-European solutions for multinational fleet customers.
The department will be headed by global fleet sales director Steve Harris, who is a former corporate sales director for Rover and whose last post was with BMW in South Africa.
'I'm delighted to be joining Peugeot and am pleased to be back in the fleet arena in a new and exciting role. It will be up to the team to respond to customers' needs and we will be looking at customers in three major areas: daily rental, major, multi-national leasing companies and international fleet buyers,' said Harris.
'The creation of this department proves Peugeot is committed to the needs of the international fleet market and although there has already been a focus on international fleet deals it will be much stronger. We will co-ordinate international fleet deals from our Paris base and will have a close relationship with our national fleet departments.'
The new department, which will go live from September 1, will concentrate its efforts on the full Peugeot range, including light commercial vehicles. 'We know this sector will grow,' Harris said, 'but by how much we don't know. We don't want to speculate.'
Peugeot's biggest pan-European fleet deal to date was signed last year and involved 3,500 vehicles.
He believes, however, that the future will be characterised by 'more different cars, types and variants', and said the true ingredient of success would be a manufacturer's ability to 'develop and produce attractive vehicles at competitive prices'.
PSA will maintain critical mass, according to Folz, through joint venture projects such as the group's long standing strategic alliances with Renault to produce 3.0-litre engines and automatic gearboxes, a collaboration with Fiat to platform share for a light commercial vehicle and an MPV, and a more recent arrangement with Ford to develop a full range of diesel engines. (August 2000)