Citroën's Irish importer, the IM Group, is to relinquish its contract for the French car brand in the Republic from April next year. The IM Group, which also distributes Subarus in Ireland, said a decision by Citroën's owner, the French car giant PSA Group, to consolidate importer operations for its brands, was a key factor in the move.
PSA Group's other brands include Peugeot, Opel and Citroën sub-brand DS. Last year the Irish distributor for Peugeot, the Gowan Group, took control of Opel in the Republic. The company, owned by the Maughan family, already holds the Irish franchises for the Peugeot and Honda motor brands. It has confirmed that it will take over national distribution for the DS brand here, but is still in "commercial discussions" over any deal to take control of Citroën in Ireland.
Previously, Gowan Group had also distributed Citroën cars in Ireland from 1982, through its subsidiary Gallic Distributors, but lost that franchise in 2009, when it moved back to the control of the French parent before ultimately returning to a franchise operation run by the UK-based IM Group.
Gowan Group has been involved in motor distribution in Ireland for 50 years, importing Peugeot vehicles since 1969 and Honda vehicles since 1984.
Kia and Opel
Along with its motoring operations, the group also owns a retail dealer network that sells Kia and Opel vehicles, and provides after-sales service for Citroën. It is also involved in the distribution of household electronics and kitchen products, through its KAL division, where it holds franchises for brands such as De Dietrich, Nordmende, AGA, Franke, Sharp, Elica, and KitchenAid. It also owns Senator Windows.