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Management merger for French retail groups

The management team of Peugeot’s Robins and Day dealer group and Citroen Retail Group are now running as one under the guidance of chief executive David Peel.

The decision to streamline the management team has been in effect since last year, but the French brand has only just revealed details of how the new structure works and what it means for both businesses.

Both Robins and Day and Citroen Retail Group will continue to trade as separate entities and from a customer stand point there is no change. While new car sales will remain firmly separate, Peel did say there would be advantages in having a single group stock of used cars to pool together.

Peel told AM: “Our strategy in the UK is to be the example to the rest of the dealer network. The operating processes of both business for Peugeot and Citroen were very similar so it made sense to combine the two.

“We needed to act more like a dealer group rather than a group of dealers. We looked at the larger groups like Pendragon and Lookers and how they run large groups across several franchises and we knew we could do the same.”

Peel maintains that in moving to a single management team for both groups, no one was made redundant, with all moving to different parts of the business.

But it’s not just the UK manufacturer owned retail groups Peel has to handle, he’s also taken on responsibility for both brands’ owned dealers in Belgium and Holland too.

The operations under Peel’s guidance now run to a total turnover of £1.4 billion.

While the combined group turnover would be enough to fire the business into the top 10 of the AM100, for the time being there will not be a “PSA Retail Group” until legal technicalities are resolved.

Robins and Day has separate accounts from Peugeot in the UK, whereas Citroen Retail Group’s accounts are tied in with Citroen UK’s.

He said: “It’s not something that’s going to be resolved in the next few months, but I would hope we could get it sorted within the next 12 months.”

How the management team works

Peel changed the structure of the way the business operates to give both brands more of an even focus on sales and aftersales.

Peel told AM: “I think we’ve focussed too heavily on the sales side in the past and I wanted an equal focus on aftersales too.”

Robins and Day used to run with three operational managers with responsibility for the north, midlands and south. Peel changed it so there is a dedicated sales director for Robins and Day and for Citroen Retail Group for the whole of the UK.

He then split the UK into 11 regions for Robins and Day and five regions for Citroen Retail Group with general managers of main dealerships taking on responsibility for the other dealerships in their area.

The sales directors are more strategic and the general managers are more focussed on the day to day running of the businesses.

Both Robins and Day and Citroen Retail Group share a single aftersales director. Robins and Day has its own finance director and Citroen Retail Groups accounting director reports in to him.

Both businesses also share a used car operations manager. Peel said the group would have a single pool of used car stock to share across the business and that was one example of the opportunity and efficiency as a result of the management change.

Robins and Day
Turnover £590m
38 sites
25,000 new car sales
16,000 used car sales
700,000 work shop hours
1,600 employees

Citroen Retail Group
Turnover £271m
12 sites
15,000 new car sales
6,000 used car sales
160,000 workshop hours
385 staff

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