In a shock announcement Sime Darby has revealed plans to sell off its ailing Peugeot and Citroen brands in Australia and New Zealand.
In Australia the French cars will in future be distributed by Inchcape, better known here for the Subaru brand as well as being the driving force behind Autonexus and the Trivett retail group.
The New Zealand business goes to the Rick Armstrong Motor Group.
It is expected that, effective June 1, 2017, these companies will take over the Australasian distribution for the PSA Group.
Last year 332 Citroens were sold in Australia, a decline of 41 per cent – with 196 sales so far this year.
Peugeot fared better with 1401 sales, down 46 per cent – with 745 so far this year.
It’s fair to say both brands have been struggling, but it is not known at this stage whether there will be any job losses as a result of the decision.
The company employs some 200 people across Australia.
Sime Darby Motors boss Patrick McKenna said the decision had been taken after careful consideration.
“This is in line with Sime Darby Motors’ strategy to focus on the expansion of its retail car and commercial truck footprints on both sides of the Tasman,” Mr McKenna said.
“Once the decision was made, KPMG was engaged to conduct a full tender process for the sales on our behalf.”
McKenna added: “Throughout the sale process it has been our priority to ensure that the vast majority of our employees in both countries would be offered employment under their existing terms and conditions.
“I would like to acknowledge this terrific group of people and wish them well in the future.”
Sime Darby Motors is the automotive arm of Sime Darby Berhad which is a leading player in the retail, distribution and assembly businesses in the Asia Pacific region, with a strong presence that spans 10 countries.