IM Group, the UK-based automotive importer and distributor, has purchased Citroën Motors Ireland including the Airside retail operation in Dublin.
The deal gives IM Group the rights to import and sell Citroën and DS models throughout the Republic of Ireland. The acquisition will be completed on September 30.
PSA Peugeot Citroën identified IM Group as being in the best position to support the future business objectives of the Citroën and DS brands, including a planned growth in registrations.
Vehicles will continue to be sold through the existing Citroën/DS dealership network in Ireland.
Chris Graham, former group dealer development manager for IM Group, is appointed managing director to oversee the transition and establish the Irish operation as a separate company within IM Group.
He will report into Paul Tunnicliffe, head of franchises for IM Group’s UK and Ireland businesses. Under the terms of the acquisition, all employees at Citroën Motors Ireland will become employees of IM Group, and the standalone organisation will be operated separately from IM Group’s existing brands (Subaru and Great Wall).
Graham said: “Citroën and DS in Ireland have a strong model line-up and a well-organised dealer network, together creating the momentum to flourish. We are bullish about the brands’ opportunities for future growth, and we look forward to working with employees, dealers and customers to realise this success.”
The Citroën and DS brands have recently undergone strategic changes. As part of a long term strategy, PSA Peugeot Citroën is differentiating the two brands from one another – DS as a standalone premium brand and Citroën as a design-to-value brand with competitive pricing and low total cost of ownership.
Pedro Regalado, current managing director for Citroën Motors Ireland at PSA, said: “Citroën Motors Ireland and IM Group share the same goals and ambitions for the brand, and we are convinced that IM Group is the strong local partner that we need to develop these iconic brands and fully realise their market potential.”
Graham has worked within the IM Group for 17 years, during which time he has held a number of different positions across the group’s various automotive brands.
Prior to joining IM Group he spent 21 years within the automotive retail sector, 16 of which were at director and dealer principal level mostly running multiple sites.
The IM Group will bring more than 30 years’ experience in the Irish market through the successful import and distribution of Subaru and Great Wall brands, as well as considerable international expertise further afield in the UK, Nordic and Chinese markets.