PSA Group Chairman Carlos Tavares has revealed that it’s “not imperative” for Peugeot to enter the FIA World Endurance Championship, stating that a proposal will not be sent to the board unless it’s within the French manufacturer’s motorsport budget.
Speaking to French publication Auto-Moto, Tavares (pictured left, with ACO President Pierre Fillon) said no timetable has been determined on making a decision, as negotiations with the FIA and ACO are ongoing.
“We cannot negotiate if we’re in a hurry,” Tavares told Auto-Moto. “We have won the Dakar twice and it’s not imperative for us to go to the WEC.
“As I told the ACO and the FIA, the [proposal] will not be presented to the PSA Group Executive Committee if it’s above a certain amount, because its economic performance will be bad.
“In all other cases, the whole team must agree for it to be effective.”
Both Peugeot and representatives from the FIA and ACO have been in dialogue since last year and has also been represented at recent LMP1 manufacturer working group meetings to shape the 2020 regulations, which will be revealed in principle next month at Le Mans.
While WEC boss Gerard Neveu says they remain committed to hybrid technology, it’s understood a compromise may be in place, to allow a manufacturer such as Peugeot enter with a more cost-effective hybrid system and yet still be competitive.
Peugeot, which withdrew from LMP1 competition on the eve of the launch of the WEC’s launch in 2012 due to a company-wide financial crisis, has previously stated it would not rejoin unless certain financial conditions were met.
The FIA and ACO, meanwhile, have been pushing for Peugeot to commit to a 2020 return, to join Toyota and Porsche in the top prototype class.
“You have to understand, and it’s not for the desire of working with them, also in a very good spirit… WEC is a discipline in which many skills must be combined and the competitiveness of motorsport as a marketing tool must be protected,” Tavares said.
Tavares, an amateur driver who took part in last year’s European Le Mans Series race in a LMP3 car, admitted that the future of Peugeot’s Dakar program is also under evaluation and said there are no guarantees for the manufacturer to be involved in motorsports.
“Motorsport is a marketing tool for the promotion and trade of our brands, and we are not committed to it because I am passionate about it,” he said.
“Although I am passionate [about motorsports], I take a step back and leave the members of the executive committee to discuss budgets, media impact and comparison with other marketing tools.
“What I want is for our teams to flourish and achieve results for the company.”