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Peugeot appoints first independent repairers

Three independent garages have signed up this week to become a Peugeot authorised repairer.

Prior to the appointments in Yorkshire, Northern Ireland and Scotland, the network consisted of 318 franchised dealers with full sales, service and parts contracts; eight with non-sales agreements and nine with parts-only. Another dozen or so independents will be approved by Peugeot this year, joining former franchised dealer JC Snell of Barnsley, car supermarket Bob Mullan Motors of Ballykelly, and Forthway of Glenross.

Clive Watkinson, general manager and director at Barnsley-based JC Snell, says: “This is the culmination of three years’ hard work.” Established in 1934, the family business is also authorised by Citroen and Renault Trucks and plans more approvals at the rate of one every six months. Its franchise was terminated by Peugeot at the end of 2000 – according to Watkinson for “refusing to commit to redevelopment”. He estimates that authorised repairer status requires an investment of £30,000, mainly for specialist tools and diagnostic equipment.

“When we finished with Peugeot everyone thought we were wrong and that the dealer network would continue in the same direction post block exemption,” says Watkinson. “We gambled everything on the EU coming down on the side of the dealers and we have been vindicated in our re-appointment by Peugeot.”

JC Snell continued to supply new Peugeots, sourced from a main dealer. Watkinson, whose grandfather founded JC Snell, will not be seeking franchised status. “We can do everything we want to as an authorised repairer without the additional hassle associated with being franchised,” he says.

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