- Main picture: Uwe Hochgeschurtz, Stellantis chief operating officer for enlarged Europe
CAR manufacturer Stellantis has delayed the planned introduction of agency agreements for its UK Alfa Romeo, DS and commercial vehicle businesses by six months while it trials the new sales agreements in a few smaller European countries.
Agency agreements for the UK brands had been due to start in mid-2023, however this has now been pushed back to January 2024, according to a Stellantis spokesman.
At a European level, the manufacturer will now launch agency in mid-2023 only in Austria, The Netherlands and the Benelux countries before the rest of Europe and the UK move to the new model in 2024.
Stellantis originally said it would move to an agency model for Alfa Romeo and DS last year and had set up 50 working groups with its retailers to discuss how the new distribution approach would work. At the time Stellantis insisted this was not a negotiation.
According to a Stellantis spokesman the delay was being introduced to allow a Europe-wide logistics network to be progressively scaled up and tested on a smaller scale.
The statement by the manufacturer added that the strategic plan had the “ambition to be number one in customer satisfaction in all markets, in both products and services”.
However, speaking to retail publication Auto Retail Bulletin at the end of 2021, Jean Philippe Imparato, Alfa Romeo CEO, said the switch to an agency model was necessary to cut distribution costs in order to counter the rising cost of production, particularly from electrification.
Considering the total production cost with EV, safety and connectivity costs, Imparato said you could be looking at an extra €10,000 per car. “So you have an idea of what we have to do.”
Steve Beattie takes up the role of sales and operations director at Vauxhall – one of four changes to the Stellantis UK management team.
The Broker News Awards are returning in 2024. Here’s what you need to know about entries and attending the event
One of the UK’s largest car finance brokers, CarMoney, is launching a new franchise model to help it expand
Tristan Young is an award winning journalist with more than 25 years’ experience reporting on the automotive industry focussing predominantly on fleet and retail. As a self-confessed petrol-head, Tristan has a weakness for car classifieds. When he’s not writing about the automotive industry, he can usually be found outdoors with a small pack of border collies.