Alliance Global Vice-President Gérard Détourbet was presented with the Journal de l’Automobile’s 36th Man of The Year Award at a gala event held April 4th at the Automobile Club of France.
This prize honors the career of Détourbet, who played a key role in the success of the Dacia A-segment car project. He is also credited with the subsequent success of the Alliance’s two entry level cars aimed at emerging markets, the Renault Kwidand the Datsun redi-GO. Both are based on the Alliance’s “Common Module Family” architecture known as CMF-A.
“By awarding this prize to Gérard Détourbet, the jury wanted to celebrate the Kwid, a ground-breaking project,” Editor-in-Chief Alexandre Guillet said. “The Kwid takes us into the realms of frugal engineering and affordable car ownership. The product of a globalized world, the Kwid is a car that makes you think, and one that clearly bears the stamp of Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn’s strategic vision.
“Spearheading a project of this scale from India was no easy feat, and Gérard Détourbet was just the man for the job. His sense of discipline, his determination and his independent thinking are the qualities behind the Kwid’s success. And in the years to come, we will see this program’s scope expand considerably within the Alliance.”
Gérard Détourbet called the award “a great honor.”
“I dedicate this award to the teams who worked with me to build the success of the Renault Kwid and the Datsun redi-GO. These two cars epitomize the unique know-how of the Renault-Nissan Alliance and the vision of our Chairman and CEO, Carlos Ghosn. Designing those cars from scratch with a new platform, new models and a new engine, while keeping costs as low as possible, was a real challenge. The fact that we came through it with flying colors is clearly shown by the success of these models in the Indian market and their coming launch in Brazil”.
To learn more about frugal engineering, click here.
About Gérard Détourbet:
Celebrating more than 45 years with Renault, Gérard Détourbet began his career with the company in 1971 in the IT training center. Two years later, in 1973, he became head of operational research at the Logistics and Production Department before moving to take charge of mechanical economic studies for the Economic Studies and Planning Department in 1976.
During the 1980s he became involved in body assembly projects, being appointed project manager for the Renault 25 body in 1980 and then departmental head of Decentralized Methods at Renault’s Sandouville plant in 1983. Two years later, in 1985, he returned to Billancourt as head of Central Methods, Assembly for the Body Assembly Department.
In the 1990s, he moved to the Powertrain Department as project manager, Engines, becoming Powertrain Manager in 1997.
He was appointed head of Industrial Development and Dacia vehicle projects before being appointed entry program director in 2003. In January 2012, he was appointed managing director of the Renault-Nissan Alliance A-segment Development Unit, charged with the development of a small A-segment vehicle on a platform shared with Nissan. The first car built on the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s Common Module Family A architecture was the Renault Kwid launched in India in 2015, followed by Nissan in 2016 with the Datsun redi-GO.
Gérard Détourbet was born Sept. 28, 1946, in Paris.
To read this story in French, please click here.