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Six more dealerships for Peugeot, Citroen

The i has it: Models like the 308 have been driving Peugeot sales, and more interest is expected for its imminent GTi hot hatch.

Peugeot and Citroen network bounces back from 2013 Sime Darby takeover

14 Dec 2015

PEUGEOT and Citroen's Australian distributor Sime Darby Motors is adding six more dealers to its local network, offsetting the three dealers that jumped ship in 2013 when the company took over from Ateco Automotive.

Increasing interest in the two French brands will see one dealership added to the Citroen network in Melbourne and one in Sydney, while Peugeot has an even greater boost with two each for Sydney and Melbourne.

Established chain City Automobiles is the greatest contributor in the expansion, with a new Citroen and Peugeot outlet in Zetland, New South Wales, and another Peugeot location in Richmond, Victoria.

The second Victorian site is Werribee Peugeot, while Sinclair Peugeot in Penrith, NSW, completes the planned network additions.

Sime Darby Motors PR and communications manager Tyson Bowen told GoAuto the network lost some dealers following the takeover, but the new locations would boost the presence beyond its spread in 2013.

“There were some dealers that elected to not continue with the brand so by natural movement of the business the network shrank slightly,” he said.

“The dealer expansion is more about putting ourselves in places where strategically we mightn't have been as strong as we should have been, and also bolstering our presence nationwide.

“If you compare January to December, Peugeot stood at 36 sites that were sales, service and spares and now it's 39 – we lost one but gained four. Citroen stood at 23 and is now at 24.”

The new outlets will gradually go live between now and February next year, progressively filling gaps in the national coverage, which have been made more apparent since the arrival of the company's top-selling 308 small hatchback and wagon in 2014.

“We haven't had a presence in the southern suburbs of Sydney for 18 months, so it has been a weakness in our presence. That one area of Sydney has been a bit of a trouble spot for us.

“If you look at Peugeot 308, it's a great example of the product renaissance that we are going through. If you look at Citroen we've made the hard calls on the product now. C4 Grand Picasso, Picasso and forthcoming Cactus and you get a good idea of where the brand is going.”

To date, Peugeot has sold 1445 308s, a figure that is set to continue growing with the introduction of the GTi hot hatch next year, as well as a significant fleet deal recently signed with Woolworths for 800 vehicles.

Mr Bowen explained that the continued interest from franchisees to adopt more PSA brand showrooms was a testament to the growing perception and popularity of Peugeot and Citroen in Australia.

“The businesses that have joined aren't small operators. They are large multi-franchise dealers that do their homework, so it's a vote of confidence in what they know about our business.

“When you see dealers coming on board, its about what we are doing at the back end of the business to improve our offering to the market, and also their understanding of what we are doing with the product range.”

While existing customers will benefit from the greater number of dealerships with service centres attached, Mr Bowen was keen to point out the brand's network of standalone service centres had also grown, offering greater access to original parts and service for owners.

“On top of Peugeot's now 39 dealer sites we have an additional six satellite service centres, so if you were to purchase a vehicle and you're not near a dealer you may still be near a service site, which makes the coverage larger.

Citroen has an additional seven.”

Mr Tyson concluded by pointing out that the brand always has room for more interested parties and the company welcomes new faces to the Citroen and Peugeot family.

“We are actively still engaging with a couple of dealers and sites. As new products come on line these guys will be well positioned to grow with us.”

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