Kroymans toughens dealer requirements

Meerbusch. Netherlands-based Kroymans-A.R.M-Stokvis-Group is requiring higher standards for dealers in Europe that want to sell Cadillac and Chevrolet cars.

Kroymans obtained exclusive distribution rights for the Cadillac and Chevrolet brands for all Europe six months ago.

"Our sales partners' minimum unit sales annually should increase to 150 units from 100 units by 2007. We will not allow Cadillac and Chevrolet to be a second-rate business," says Gerard Jansen, chief operating officer of Cadillac Europe.

Cadillac Europe will look outside the existing General Motors dealer network for new Cadillac dealers, said Johannes Cuerten, Kroymans boss for the German-speaking regions and Eastern Europe.

"We no longer want to work only with Opel dealers but with dealers who fulfill our standards," Cuerten said. "And that is possible with investments starting from 100,000 euros."

Kroymans hopes to have approximately 120 sales partners in Europe by the middle of 2005. On top of that 25 so called Cadillac Experience Centers (CEC) are planned.

"In Germany we will have fifty sales outlets, up to eight of which will be CECs," said Cuerten. The first CEC will open in Stuttgart in June. Duesseldorf, Nuremberg and Berlin will follow within a year.

So far 32 of the former 61 German dealers have signed the new contracts. The remaining dealers are still hesitant. Many were annoyed by the fact that Kroymans does not only act as a supplier but also as a dealer. Some also believe that the Dutch group's plans are too ambitious. They say that investments and market potential are disproportionate.

Kroymans' 2004 target for Western Europe is unit sales of approximately 7,000 cars, up from 6,300 last year. Targets this year include 1,700 in Germany, 550 in Switzerland and 250 in Austria.

Cuerten forecast: "In 2005 European sales will increase by 15 percent - and by 2010 it will be more than 20,000 units."

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