Peugeot Citroen South Africa (PCSA) has realigned its strategy in South Africa: the Peugeot brand will be its key focus in 2017 and beyond. The discontinuation of Citroen products may prove critical to the local sustainability of PSA, which has experienced a resurgence in Europe.
PCSA has revealed its 5-year plan, following a strategy meeting with its dealer network, investors and stakeholders this week. PCSA will focus its energy on building the Peugeot brand in South Africa as of 2017, while Citroen and DS vehicles will no longer be offered locally.
However, PCSA has committed itself to servicing and supplying parts to its current Citroen and DS customers. Managing Director at PCSA, Francis Harnie, said: “A full aftersales and parts delivery service to our Citroën and DS customers will remain a priority ensuring that those customers will not be neglected in any way. With a car park of around 15 000 Citroen and DS vehicles in South Africa, these customers are important to us and we will not let them down.”
As for Peugeot, the brand’s future in South Africa looks bright. “We will focus all our resources on retailing the Peugeot Brand which will assist in higher brand awareness, brand image, and increased competitiveness”, said Harnie.
A total of 3 new Peugeot products will be launched locally in 2017 and these include the new 2008 SUV (March 2017), the highly-anticipated 3008 SUV (May 2017) and the 9-seater Traveller (September 2017). From 2018, you can expect at least one new Peugeot product to be launched each year thereafter.
“This entire plan is in line with the Push To Pass strategy of the PSA Group. “It was confirmed that South Africa is a key market in the development strategy for the Brand (Peugeot) in the Middle East/Africa region”, Harnie concluded.
Impact of the announcement
Cars.co.za Consumer Experience Manager Hannes Oosthuizen commented: “Given the historically low sales volumes of Citroen products and the contraction in the new vehicle market, it makes sense that Peugeot Citroen South Africa would adopt a business model that is more sustainable and puts the company in position from where it can grow. The simplification of its overall product line-up will allow PCSA to focus its marketing activities on the introduction of a new wave of promising Peugeot products.
“South African market is frankly over-subscribed by brands and other fringe marques may also be discontinued in the near future. Although this development will sadden die-hard Citroen fans, it will thankfully have little impact on owners (apart from weaker resale values, which is usually a consequence of a brand's discontinuation); many of them will probably be enticed to buy Peugeot products when the time comes to replace their vehicles.
“This development should not be viewed as ‘the death of Citroen in South Africa’, however. PSA (Peugeot’s motor company) has recently achieved a turnaround in the European market and the architects of that resurgence have ambitious plans for South Africa too. If this new strategy for PCSA proves successful, there is no reason why Citroen could not make a return to the local market at some point in the future,” he concluded.
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