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Stellantis says reorganisation of European dealer network starts next week

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Stellantis is seen on a company's building in Velizy-Villacoublay near Paris

MILAN (Reuters) - Stellantis will launch the reorganisation of its European dealers' network next week, starting with three specific markets before extending it further across Europe in 2024, the Franco-Italian carmaker said on Thursday.

As part of its efforts to cut costs and support investments for electrification, the world's third largest carmaker had announced it was ending its previous sales and services contracts with European dealers for its 14 brands and moving towards a new distribution framework based on an "agency model".

With an agency model, carmakers take more direct control of sales transactions and prices, while dealers focus on deliveries and servicing, no longer acting as the customer's contractual partner.

Stellantis said in its newsletter that it was completing the signing of the new contracts and that the new retailer model will be fully effective from Sept. 4, starting with Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

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The company said it signed over 8,000 sales and over 25,000 aftersales mandates in recent weeks across 10 strategic countries in Europe.

The new framework will be progressively extended across Europe during 2024, with contracts due to be signed in the next few months, in line with the agreed framework, it added.

Uwe Hochgeschurtz, Stellantis' chief operating officer for the 'Enlarged Europe' area, said the dialogue with European dealer associations and the group's entire dealer network had been "pragmatic, business-driven, based on full transparency and on highly mutually constructive talks and interactions".

(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by Keith Weir)