FCA Australia has been tasked with overseeing all Stellantis Group brands in Australia, but current independent distributor agreements will remain in place.
What does this mean? It means the factory-backed FCA Australia operation presently running Jeep, Chrysler, Fiat/Abarth, and Alfa Romeo here will take oversight over other Stellantis brands Peugeot, Citroen and Ram Trucks – all of which are run by third-party appointed distributors.
In what appears a slightly convoluted arrangement, Inchcape Australia retains its distributor agreement to sell Peugeots and Citroens, and the Ateco Group will keep selling Ram 1500 trucks.
The main change is these two distributors will report into FCA Australia managing director Kevin Flynn rather than international head offices, as they had been previously.
“There are no changes to the current distributor partnerships, with Inchcape, Ateco… continuing to hold distributor responsibility for their respective brands and the relationships with their dealer networks,” FCA Australia said in a statement.
Commenting on the announcement, Stellantis India & Asia Pacific vice president of marketing, sales and regional operations Billy Hayes said:
“With an ongoing focus on strengthening the growth of each of our brands across Australia and New Zealand, we have made the strategic decision to centralise our brand operations in Australia.
“This new structure will ensure the appropriate resources are given to each of our general distributor partners as we support them for the success of our businesses combined.”
Don’t expect to see many dealer changes, since this is mostly a structural backend change. It’s not clear if Stellantis will retain the services of Inchcape and Ateco beyond current agreement terms, or take distribution ‘in house’ down the track.
Naturally, company figures opted not to comment on that.
Jeep sales in Australia are up 90 per cent to 3095 sales this year, Peugeot volume is up 30 per cent to 868, and Ram Trucks (re-engineered in right-hand drive by Walkinshaw under license in Melbourne’s east) are up 16 per cent to 1306.
But Fiat (658 sales YTD), Alfa Romeo (232), and Citroen (just 49 sales) all continue to battle for relevance and cut-through.