PSA Peugeot-Citroen is to continue with Vauxhall’s established LCV retail policy for a further six months to gauge how well it works.
PSA bought the Luton-based brand, together with Opel, its equivalent brand in mainland Europe, last year.
Phillipe Narbeburu, the group’s senior vice-president LCVs, told What Van? the company would “respect local policy” for this period of time before deciding whether to change the strategy.
Vauxhall currently has 70 specialist LCV dealerships in the UK focusing exclusively on vans in a retail network of more than 300 sites.
Narbeburu said: “Our ambitions for the three brands are high – we need to gain market share from outside the three brands.”
PSA is to start building the new Vauxhall Vivaro medium van in Luton in 2019 on its EMP2 platform, which is the basis for the Citroen Dispatch, Peugeot Expert and Toyota Proace.
Narbeburu said it would make 100,000 light commercials annually at Luton and roll out 140,000 from its plant in Sevelnord, France. Narbeburu stressed that PSA’s takeover of Vauxhall/Opel would not affect its cooperation with Toyota, as both parties were happy and Toyota was “getting new customers”.
The current Vauxhall Vivaro shares a platform with Renault’s Trafic as part of an arrangement that started in 2001.
Narbeburu said PSA had implemented LCV production at Luton despite Brexit uncertainty because it believes the UK government understands the importance of the automotive sector to the economy.
“It is important for PSA that negotiations on the UK’s future relationship with the EU are concluded in a timely manner,” he said.
“It is also important business continues to benefit from the free movements of goods and people during this period.”