Chinese carmaker Dongfeng Motor Corp. has reshuffled its senior management, affecting top-level executives at its Chinese subsidiaries and joint ventures with foreign firms, an insider told Yicai Global.
Liu Weidong, chairman of Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile Co. and Dongfeng Hongtai Holdings Group, will move to oversee development of Dongfeng passenger cars and technology, the source said. An Tiecheng, Dongfeng Motor’s new deputy general manager, is pegged to replace Liu as chairman of the Chinese-French venture.
Liu Hong, deputy general manager of production at Dongfeng Yueda Kia Motor is also rumored to replace Li Chunrong as general manager of Dongfeng Passenger Vehicle Co., with Li taking over as Chinese general manager of Dongfeng Honda Engine Co.
The role changes are just normal switches to adapt to business development at the subsidiaries, the source added, saying Dongfeng Motor approved the changes at a meeting on June 2.
Since being appointed as chairman in May 2015, Zhu Yanfeng has carried out extensive management changes at the group’s subsidiaries, in particular at its joint venture with French manufacturer Peugeot SA [EPA:UG].
Poor sales at the Chinese-French subsidiary are the result of ineffective management and a French cars’ lack of competitiveness in China, an auto industry analyst told Yicai Global. On the other end of the spectrum, solid sales at Dongfeng Nissan and Dongfeng Honda are in-part attributable to Japanese carmakers becoming more competitive in the country, he added.
French brands are struggling as they don’t align product development with Chinese consumer preferences, the analyst continued, adding that problematic marketing strategies have led to frequent management changes at auto joint ventures between the two countries.
Dongfeng’s joint venture with South Korea’s Kia Motors Corp. [KRX:000270] is in the same boat, partly due to carmakers from the country losing market share in China, he added, saying it would be difficult for French and South Korean carmakers to turn things around in the world’s second largest economy.