Kroymans' goal: Close dealer gaps in Germany

Dutch importer also has big growth plans for eastern Europe

Meerbusch, Germany. Dutch importer Kroymans wants to strengthen the Cadillac and Corvette brands in western Europe by closing dealer network gaps in Frankfurt and Munich.

"We cannot sell any cars without dealers," said Johannes Cuerten, who coordinates the expansion at Kroymans Germany. "But we will solve that problem, if necessary, we will build our own branches."

Kroymans took control of distribution of General Motors' top luxury and performance marques throughout Europe last October by forming Cadillac & Corvette Europe (CCE).

Sources say Kroymans plans to invest a few hundred million euros its GM business by 2007.

CCE has 23 representatives in Germany but aims to have 50 by the end of 2005. The network also will include more so-called Cadillac & Corvette Experience Centers. Such centers are located in key metropolitan areas such as Duesseldorf, Stuttgart, Nuremberg, London and Athens. Further centers should be opened this year in Hamburg and Cologne. The aim is to have 15 European centers in Europe by the end of 2005 and 25 by the end of 2006.

CCE aims to sell a combined 2,000 vehicles in Germany next year, 800 of which should be the new Corvette. "If we don't achieve that target with this car," Cuerten said about the Corvette, "then we are doing something wrong."

The total unit sales goal for the two brands in Europe also is ambitious. Cuerten wants to sell 4,500 cars a year starting in 2008. That is on the same scale as Jaguar's current unit sales.

To reach that goal Kroymans will expand its Cadillac and Corvette business in eastern Europe. The plan is to cooperate with local distributors who can set up a nationwide sales structure.

"We have already found the partners," said Johannes Cuerten, who is a former manager with GM subsidiary Saab. "We will have signed contracts in all new EU countries by the middle of 2005." Ten countries including Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia joined the European Union on May 1.

Cuerten plans to open a regional marketing office in Budapest, Hungary. This office will be in charge of the eastern European markets starting in 2006.

CCE has 92 locations in Europe and that number should be 110 by the end of the year, said CCE Managing Director Gerard Jansen. "We need dealers with the right attitude," Jansen said, "who consistently look after the Cadillac and Corvette brands."

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