French car maker to shut up shop in South Africa

French car maker Citroën has confirmed that it is closing shop in South Africa and will be discontinued by early next year.

The decision is as a result of poor sales in the country. According to a report by IOL, Citroën managed a total of 789 sales in South Africa in 2015, while sales have dwindled further in 2016.

Citroën made a return to South Africa in 2010, and teamed up with fellow french manufacturer, Peugeot in 2014  in an effort to strengthen both brands locally.

Peugeot-Citroën South Africa (PCSA) will continue service its current customer base honouring warranties and service plans through its PCSA dealer network.

The company will however, nolonger import Citroën manufactured vehicles, which include the C4 Cactus, DS3, C4 Picasso and Dispatch Multispace.

Peugeot will continue to operate in the country.

PCSA said in a press statement on Thursday:

PCSA held a strategy meeting with its entire dealer network, investors and stakeholders on Wednesday, 7 December, where the company’s five-year-plan was rolled out.

Three key messages were shared:

The focus from 2017 will be on the Peugeot Brand
The re-launch of the Brand, will be kept within the PSA core values
Three new products will be launched during 2017 (two of which will be SUV’s), with continued product introduction of at least one model a year from 2018 onwards.

“This entire plan is in line with the Push To Pass plan/strategy of the PSA Group”, commented Managing Director, Francis Harnie.  “It was confirmed that South Africa is a key market in the development strategy for the Brand in the Middle East/Africa region.

Our challenge lies in developing a sustainable and profitable business model for all parties.

“We will focus all our resources on retailing the Peugeot Brand which will assist in higher brand awareness, brand image, and increased competitiveness, said Harnie.

A full aftersales and parts delivery service to our Citroën and DS customers will remain a priority ensuring that those customers will not be neglected in any way.”

“With a car park of around 15 000 Citroen and DS vehicles in South Africa, these customers are important to us and we will not let them down.” he said.

Exciting times lay ahead for the Peugeot Brand in South Africa with the introduction of three brand new models being launched in 2017. The new 2008 SUV will be introduced in March, the much anticipated new 3008 SUV will be launched in May and the nine-seater Traveller is expected in September. In line with the 5-year plan, there is a guarantee of at least one brand new model launch each year from 2018.

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