Pendragon CEO Trevor Finn and Kroymans CEO Ton van Soest chose their words carefully when asked how soon their companies – two of Europe’s largest auto retailers – would start selling cars made in China.
“We always look for opportunities,” van Soest said during a panel discussion on auto retailing at the Automotive News Europe Congress. “We will watch, and if there is a chance we will expand.”
Van Soest said the decision won’t be easy because there are more than 100 companies making cars in China. There are “a lot of cars that look like copies,” he added.
Finn said he was going to be even more diplomatic on the subject – by simply “agreeing” with van Soest’s remarks.
Jonathan Browning, General Motors Europe’s vice president of sales, marketing and aftersales, said the toughest question many retailers must answer is whether it makes financial sense to make the move.
Many dealers, especially those that are run poorly, wrongly believe that adding another brand is the best way to increase profitability, he said.
“More and more cases show that adding a brand doesn’t fix the problem,” Browning said. “It just makes it worse.”