The RBS move, which will also see directors Sal Cuillo and Noel Parkinson leave “in due course”, surprised its franchise partners, who were not consulted prior to the decision. That emphasises the self-confidence of a huge financial institution, and the strengthened position of retailers under the revised block exemption rules. Dixon has five Peugeot sites in the Yorkshire region.
Peugeot UK managing director Christian Gerard says: “We had no idea this was going to happen. We are now meeting with the Royal Bank of Scotland to find out what their plans are.
“We want them to work as dealers but we need to know what they intend to do.” Nissan has already had talks with the two new senior Dixon Motors managers: Tony Peppard, acting chief operating officer, and Shankar Ramanathan, deputy managing director.
Simon Thomas, Nissan UK sales director, says the two men shared with him their plans for the future and reaffirmed their commitment to the franchise. “We have a requirement under our dealer contracts that any change of management needs to be advised and consented,” says Thomas.
“We were impressed with the new management team and we now better understand the culture of the Royal Bank of Scotland. It's business as normal.” Honda, meanwhile, is meeting the new management team this week. Phillip Crossman, Honda head of sales operations, says he is “generally okay” with the move and intends to ensure both companies' business goals are aligned during the meeting.
“They are a key player in Yorkshire for us and we look forward to working with them,” he adds.