The appointment of Inchcape as the new distributor for Peugeot and Citroen in Australia will see the latter target the light commercial vehicle (LCV) market more directly, as the two brands move to focus on their core strengths.
Talking to the media at the launch of the new Peugeot 3008 in Newcastle this week, the Asia Pacific boss of Inchcape, Nick Senior, said there’s a huge opportunity for the French brands to play in the LCV segment, but in order to keep focus, Citroen will take that responsibility going forward.
“There is a going to be a huge ramp-up of focus on LCVs, for this is a hugely untapped market, hugely untapped. But, rather than confusing buyers, all LCVs will be marketed under the Citroen name plate [going forward],” Senior said.
“To support the increased focus on LCVs, you will see us play much more aggressively in the fleet, government, corporate and rental space.”
Since taking over distributorship around two months ago, Citroen’s new management have already signed deals with rental companies looking for LCVs and other larger deals appear to be in the pipeline.
From January to July 2017, Citroen has sold 133 light commercial vehicles in the form of the Berlingo. This is down nearly 30 per cent from the same period last year. The increased emphasis on LCVs will likely see that number jump dramatically as Inchcape chases volume and goes after brands such as compatriot Renault, which has seen tremendous success in that segment.
The purely LCV focus for Citroen will put an end to the potential return of the Peugeot Partner and Expert LCVs, however, it further strengthens the chances for the updated Citroen Dispatch (known as Jumpy in some markets) to return. Indeed, previous distributor Sime Darby had already confirmed the Dispatch for Australia.