PARIS – The talented director of style at PSA Peugeot Citroen named an old friend and Renault SA veteran to run his former studio at Style Citroen and promoted from within to name the new leader of Style Peugeot.

Styling is important to PSA’s goal of separating its two brands in the public mind, and the promotion in October 2008 of Citroen’s chief stylist Jean-Pierre Ploué to oversee both shops was seen as a way to make sure the two brands didn’t waste time stepping on each other’s toes by doing the same thing.

Now, Ploué has given direction to the two brands by naming a styling chief for each one.

Gilles Vidal, who has worked at Peugeot since 1996 and has been in charge of recent concept cars such as the BB1 electric vehicle, will run the Peugeot studio. He has been working on a cross-functional team to establish the new identity for the Peugeot brand that will be revealed in January.

Vidal, 37, is a graduate of the former Swiss branch of Art Center College of Design.

For Citroen, Ploué chose Thierry Metroz, who last summer quit Renault, where he was director-exterior design.

Metroz, a childhood friend of Ploué, worked at Renault for 26 years and was considered a candidate to replace Patrick Le Quement, who retired this year. But in April, Renault recruited Laurens van den Acker from Mazda Motor Corp. to replace Le Quement.