Stellantis is reorganising its dealer network and issuing all retailers in the UK and EU with termination notices. The plan is to re-appoint an “optimised” number under a new single contract for an all-brand multi-franchise agreement.
Stellantis, operates brands including Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroen, Fiat and Jeep. They are making the move ahead of the new Block Exemption regulations which come into force in 2023.
The changes follow a court defeat for Stellantis in a case with an Austrian retailer over targets and margins linked to customer satisfaction scores.
A spokesman for the manufacturer said: “Stellantis’ vision is to promote a sustainable distribution model with an efficient, optimised and effective distribution network. This will represent the brands locally, whilst developing sales and aftersales activities and focussing on top level customer satisfaction.
“In this context, sales and service distribution agreements of all Stellantis brands will be terminated with two year’s notice. The new distribution network will be selected shortly after on the basis of key objective drivers and criteria. Retailer representatives will be invited to dedicated meetings to contribute to the development of the future Stellantis Distribution Plans and Strategy. This will pave the way for the new Stellantis Distribution Scheme.”
The spokesman added the UK networks would remain “substantially the same”. However they wouldn’t confirm what that meant in terms of sales points or sales partners. There are now 923 new car sales points in the UK.
The manufacturer also hinted it will reduce the minimum showroom size requirements as digital sales increase.
The announcement by Stellantis UK boss Alison Jones to all UK and EU retailers this morning (19 May) will leave those retailers operating Stellantis franchises with uncertainty until the end of the month and could impact share prices of listed groups which may force them to make City statements about the issue.