Stellantis announces plan to terminate all dealer contracts with two years’ notice

Car giant Stellantis has revealed that it will cancel the contracts of all dealers across Europe with two years’ notice.

In the UK, that applies to Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroën, DS Automobiles, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Abarth, Alfa Romeo and Jeep, with Maserati excluded from the plan.

The move comes as part of its ‘vision is to promote a sustainable distribution model with an efficient, optimised and effective Stellantis distribution network’.

CarDealerMag.co.uk reports that Alison Jones, Stellantis country manager for the UK, told dealers in a conference this morning (May 19) that they would find out if they will keep their franchises in July.

The move is said to be down to changes to EU block exemption rules, which will result in changes to distribution contracts.

In a statement, Stellantis said: “The new distribution network will be selected shortly after on the basis of key objective drivers and criteria.

“Retailer representatives will be invited to dedicated meetings to contribute to the development of the future Stellantis Distribution Plans and Strategy, which will pave the way for the new Stellantis Distribution Scheme.”

Stellantis says the move will benefit everyone, with customers getting a wider range of services at its locations, dealers will have a better-optimised business model, and the company itself will be in a better position to transform its business to electrification.

Speaking to CarDealerMagazine.co.uk, UHY Hacker Young partner David Kendrick said: “We need to find out what the detail is, but if they’re going to issue termination notices to all brand partners then that implies there’s going to be an awful lot of reorganisation.

“Perhaps they’re looking to consolidate all of their brand partners within regions.”

As of February 2021, there were 931 dealerships in the UK Stellantis network.