Peugeot gets a boost in SA, while new models wait in the wings
The French PSA Group has confirmed that VT Holdings of Japan has taken a 51 percent stake in Peugeot Citroën South Africa. The deal became official on June 1st, and heralds a new era for the Peugeot brand in South Africa. The PSA Group retains a 49 percent share.
VT Holdings is a large Japan-based automotive conglomerate primarily involved in vehicle retailing, used vehicle exports, new vehicle imports, and car rental. The company owns the local Trust Auto Group (TAG), which operates a network of five dealerships, including one Peugeot Citroën outlet in Hatfield, Pretoria.
Former Trust Auto Group COO, Francisco Gaie, has been appointed managing director of the restructured Peugeot Citroën SA operation. A born and bred South African, Gaie holds degrees in law and economics.
He says new developments around products, after-sales and parts will result in greater efficiencies, increase Peugeot’s SA market share, and strengthen the brand’s position in the market place.
Despite an attractive and highly rated model range, Peugeot has been struggling locally, with most observers blaming the brand’s poor retail representation and indifferent service levels, which has severely hampered its progress.
The local operation earlier announced that it would be concentrating on the Peugeot brand, and would halt sales of Citroën models in SA.
It’s apparent that VT Holdings will apply its widely recognised retail and after-sales expertise to the local network in order to raise service standards and improve customer satisfaction levels. This could also entail TAG increasing its current, five-dealer portfolio to include more Peugeot outlets.
At the same time, the brand can look forward to key new products. The much-lauded Peugeot 3008 swaps the crossover identity of its predecessor for a striking compact SUV execution that has already earned it major international awards, including the 2017 European Car of The Year title.
The newcomer is set to arrive in August, and will augment the brand’s smaller 2008 subcompact SUV, which already represents a compelling value proposition in its segment. A significant upgrade to the 308 hatchback is also on the cards, and should reach the local market by early next year.