Sytner Group has become the fifth Mercedes-Benz retailer to add ChryslerJeep to its existing franchise territory, although Chrysler insists this is not part of a retail strategy to combine market areas.
“What we have always said is that when a dealer leaves the franchise we will look for the nearest Chrysler Jeep dealer to take on that area,” says Simon Elliott, ChryslerJeep UK managing director. “If there is not one situated close enough then we will look at the next available Mercedes-Benz dealer in the area and vice versa. We will only do this as and when the need arises.”
Last month, Drayton Group created a super site by adding the ChryslerJeep franchise to its existing Mercedes-Benz and Smart dealership in Wolverhampton.
Now Sytner has overlapped the Cheltenham/Gloucester/Oxford area after acquiring the Chrysler franchise in Cheltenham from Dick Lovett, which continues to operate the Swindon territory.
Chrysler is shifting its emphasis towards the Dodge brand, which comes to the UK with a two-model line-up in 2005. It will give dealers the chance to attract new customers.
“Dodge is an exciting new brand and one which we are very optimistic about it. The delight for me is from our dealers' point of view. They have been very loyal and I'm looking forward to the day we can repay that loyalty,” says Elliott.
n The Chrysler 300C executive saloon, on sale in October 2005, will be launched with a diesel option, as well as three petrol units. Elliott remains “very optimistic” that the PT Cruiser cabriolet will get the go-ahead for a late 2005 on-sale date.