Stellantis has confirmed plans to get rid of 138 UK dealerships as part of a wide-sweeping move to streamline the business and improve customer service.
Stellantis the owner of Vauxhall & Opel has been working to reduce costs since it was formed in 2021.
In May 2021, Stellantis put its dealers on a two-year notice period, with 138 retailers – of its total 918 franchise points – set to disappear by May 2023. The firm said most of them were losing their franchises because of poor customer service, reported Car Dealer.
Making the announcement during a media call, Stellantis UK network development director Lee Titchner said: “We need one common strategy for Stellantis, and the main reason for that is we need to continue to drive simplification – one of the massive things for us moving forwards is to be able to have a mutual dependency.
“What I mean by that is we need to be important to retail partners, and they also need to have the scale to be as important to us, too. The only way to do that is to drive down our investor [dealer] count.”
Stellantis also wants to embark on more ‘multi-franchising’, where different brands are all found in the same showroom or on the same site. In addition, Titchner said there would be a few ‘Stellantis Houses’, which will represent all its brands in the same place.
The firm is establishing a new ‘premium division’ as well, consisting of Alfa Romeo and DS Automobiles, with Peugeot’s current managing director, Julie David, moving to head up this branch. The firm said that this will be done to ‘support an elevation of the customer experience so the demands of these customers can be met more effectively.
This forms part of wide-sweeping management changes at Stellantis, with a reshuffle seeing the various brands’ current managing directors moving to different areas within the group.