Some in the network count on margins from parts sales to provide up to a quarter of their overall profits. Now that SEL-Imperial has the franchise, and is able to deliver Citroën OE parts anywhere in the UK the next day from its depots, some in the Citroën dealer network fear their business will be hit.
But a Citroën spokesman says this is simply Block Exemption at work, promoting an open, competitive market. “Provided they meet the criteria, anyone can have a franchise. It is a level playing field,” he adds.
One northern-based retailer says: “SEL are advertising Citroën parts at 28% off and they’ll still make a profit because of the volume bonus they’ll achieve. Dealers can’t compete with that.”