Citroen UK managing director Eurig Druce has officially welcomed Drivers of Prestatyn to the PSA Group franchise with an inaugural visit which had been delayed due to COVID-19.
Drivers officially added Citroën to the existing Peugeot operation at its Coast Road site at the end of 2019 but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed Druce’s inaugural visit to mid-August, forcing the brand and its new franchisee to form a working relationship from afar during lockdown.
Managing director Mark Edgley said that he felt adding the brand was a logical next step for his business following 25 years with Peugeot.
He said: “Drivers of Prestatyn is proud to welcome Citroën to the company. We opened the franchise in November last year and we saw keen interest in the brand from the get-go. Customers can rest assured that our sales and aftersales teams will deliver the excellent service they expect from both Citroën and Drivers of Prestatyn.”
Druce said: “We are all incredibly excited to welcome Drivers of Prestatyn into the Citroën UK dealer network.
“Mark and his team have a wealth of experience and are already experts in all things Citroën.
“The success they have had over the past 25 years working with Groupe PSA is testament enough to the hard work and effort Drivers of Prestatyn put in to delivering an outstanding service.
“We will be supporting them every step of the way and wish all the team good luck.”
Drivers of Prestatyn is the latest franchise-holder to join Citroën’s 135 strong UK dealer network.
Despite the setbacks due to COVID-19, the brand said that its dealers are looking forward to welcoming the recently unveiled New C3, C5 Aircross Hybrid, ë-Dispatch van, ë-SpaceTourer MPV, and to the range.
Last Autumn, Druce’s predecessor, Karl Howkins, revealed that changes would be required to ensure the Citroen network’s profitability after what had been “a hell of a year” for the industry.
Howkins said that he anticipated dealer failures across the industry and said that there were vulnerable sites in the Citroën dealer network.
Average return on sales for the whole network at the time (October 2019) was 0.1% and half of the dealerships were at breakeven or are loss-making. The top quartile is making about 2% return on sales.
For many struggling sites, structural costs or headcount are too high for the revenues they are able to achieve, Howkins told AM.
“For our dealers to be successful, you have to be multi-franchised,” he said.
At the time, Howkins said that Citroën had already relaxed some demonstrator requirements and has reduced minimum showroom size to three cars for some locations.