In France you will no longer buy your car in the same way

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The distribution network of the Stellantis group will soon evolve significantly, with the closure of 20% of the concessions in Europe to deploy multi-brand establishments, but also agencies with a view to democratizing Internet sales.

Car sales only on the Internet, here is a model that seems to interest more and more manufacturers. Tesla was one of the pioneers in this field, and it is clear that after ten years of hindsight, this system works quite well.

What to call into question the classic car distribution system in the world? Most likely. And more and more manufacturers, such as Ford, Mercedes or even Stellantis want to have more “control” the commercial part of your brand and stop giving it 100% to distributors.

No more intermediaries between the client and the brand

It is in this logic that the Stellantis group will initiate great changes in the future. After the merger between PSA and FCA, the Stellantis group will close around 20% of its dealerships in Europe to create multi-brand stores, that is, they will distribute Peugeot, Citroën or even DS at the same point of sale. At the same time, Stellantis intends to establish an agent system, as Mercedes is doing.

In this system, it is the manufacturer who owns the stock and invoices customers directly. That is to say, it will no longer be the dealer who “buys” cars from the manufacturers to resell them, but Stellantis who will sell their cars directly to customers. Dealerships will continue to exist, but with different roles, such as providing maintenance services or even handling deliveries to customers. Everything related to the trade and sale part will be centralized by Stellantis.

The group plans to test this new model first in Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, starting this year.

After sales, the future of car dealerships?

The idea is to reduce distribution costs and better control prices. Dealers should receive a flat fee per vehicle sold, typically around 5%. This would save money on inventory and marketing, and most of the activity will revolve around after-sales.

It remains to be seen if this will be profitable, since in a world where the electric car will occupy more and more space, visits to the workshop will be less frequent since an electric car requires less maintenance than a thermal model.

Eventually, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said he wants to reduce distribution costs by 50% by 2030. For its part, Renault does not want to follow this path, as Luca de Meo, its CEO, recently announced. It would be too risky in financial terms according to the man, interviewed by autonews. Ford would also like to reduce the cost of sales of its electric cars. In fact, doing without dealerships would reduce the price of a car by about $2,000. How to reduce the price of an electric car? Or rather to increase profits? Only the future will tell us.

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