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In conversation with Pat Ryan

Citroen & DS new Managing Director, Pat Ryan Picture Conor McCabe

MD of Citroen Ireland talks to us

In the middle of December 2017, I.M. European Motors Ltd who are the importers of the Citroen and DS Auto mobiles brands in Ireland were delighted to announce the appointment of Pat Ryan as the Managing Director of Ireland.

The Limerick native will report to Paul Tunnicliffe who is the Automotive Development Director of the I.M. Group.

Mr Ryan joined Citroen Ireland with more than 20 years’ experience in the automotive industry. He began his automotive career working with automotive supplier Jatco TT, before taking on the role of Project Manager with automotive consultants Ricardo, consulting with Honda, Toyota and Mitsubishi.

In taking on the role as MD of Citroen Ireland, Pat Ryan succeeds Chris Graham who held the position since 2015 where he established I.M. European Motors Ltd as the new distributor for Citroen and DS Auto mobiles.

Pat very graciously took time out of his busy schedule to talk to us in the middle of Citroen Ireland moving to their new offices in the National Vehicle Distribution Centre at Baldonnel in Dublin.

“I became the Managing Director of Citroen Ireland after I put my name forward when I heard that there was a role becoming available in Citroen. There was some very tough competition internally but I was very fortunate to succeed,” said Pat Ryan.

For the past seven years prior to working for Citroen Ireland he had worked with Volkswagen Group Ireland where he held various positions including Network & Programmes Manager, Head of Sales for VW passenger cars and  Head of Group CRM.

“I’ve had a great career in the automotive industry and I look forward to taking those experiences to the next stage of my career,” enthused Mr Ryan.

“There is no doubt that a lot of pressure comes with my role as there are a lot of key stake holders in the business. Internally we have our colleagues and PSA who are keen to drive the brand on as well as developing a successful business and grow their footprint in Ireland,” he explained.

In terms of how he ended up working in the motor industry, Pat explains that it was sort of out of the blue.
“There is no background of motors in my family as both my parents were teachers so there would have been a very strong influence on education in our house naturally. I grew up on a farm in West Limerick so I suppose I was always on tractors and as soon as I was able to stand on the clutch of the tractor I was driving it!

“I always had a keen interest in cars. My first job was working for Nissan in Japan, I packed my bags after graduating college in 1998. I studied Mechanical Engineering in UCD and when I was working in Japan, I worked in research and development for automatic gearboxes for the Nissan brand,” revealed Pat.

Having completed an MBA with UCD, Pat moved back to Ireland, where he initially worked for Nissan Ireland in Sales and Training roles.

“I took an unusual route in to the motoring industry! Cars are exciting and everyone has an allegiance with  certain brands and it is a great business to be working in. This industry is one that is always changing with different regulations, segments and consumer expectations as well as adapting ways of how to become more efficient,” explained Mr Ryan.

What does Pat make of the changes that he has seen and that are yet to come within the motor industry?

“It’s amazing to see the changes that are coming down the tracks. We’re getting closer and closer to autonomous driving,” he said.

In terms of the future of Citroen Ireland?
“We launched the C5 Aircross in March and we’ve recently just launched the DS-7. We have the DS-3 Cross back coming. We’re not in the SUV segment which is somewhere we’ve never really been before.  We are delighted with the immediate success of our new launched Berlingo Van in the market.

“We’re looking forward to having a great 2019 and beyond,” concluded Pat Ryan.