After 10 years at Renault, Jean-Pierre Ploué worked three years with VW in Spain and two years with Ford in Germany. Since 2000, he’s been Citroën’s styling chief. He was just awarded “The man of the year” by France’s biggest motor magazine, Le Journal de l’Automobile.
In an exclusive interview with DrivingVisionNews, Ploué describes his job and his vision for Citroën’s style:
When he started in 2000 with Citroën, Ploué used 3 steps to succeed: “First, I had to choose the right people, then to build my team and its organization, and third, to motivate the teams with clear targets and the best tools. Now I can use most of my time pushing and promoting style.”
Ploué defines Citroën’s styling philosophy with simple words: Fluidity. Elegance. Humanism. Magic. Surprising. Non conformism. “Bien-être” (Wellbeing).
He considers perceived quality a top priority, and lays out three prime directives for lighting suppliers:
• Quality and precision of the contour and body fitment
• Fluidity of the external surface
• Jewel effect inside the product
Citroën use LEDs on the rear lamps of the C-Crosser, but Ploué says “More often we use tungsten bulbs with LED styling aspect, as on the C5, or light guide aspect as on the C4 Picasso”. He sees functional separation as a possible Citroën styling trend; for example, fog lamps may be moved out and away from the main headlamp assembly.
Ploué says in the near and mid-term future, he expects suppliers to provide innovative lighting devices with novel appearance and reduced packaging depth.
In sum, Ploué’s new Citroën style culture is a permanent revolution, keeping the genetic code that has attracted and retained Citroën buyers for decades
See the entire Jean-Pierre Ploué interview on www.drivingvisionnews.com
from May 6, 2008