Swedish buy further into Belgian Mercedes dealer network
Anders Hedin Invest Group, a Swedish car group, buys once again 5 Mercedes dealerships in the Antwerp area. The Belgian car dealers are vulnerable because of low profit and many foreign car groups show interest.
The five Mercedes dealerships were owned by Mercedes seller Andries, who still denied talking to interested buyers recently. The turnover of the Andries business was 100 million euro last year and he employs 89 people. The selling price was not communicated.
28 brands in 100 dealerships
Anders Hedin Invest Group sells 28 brands in 100 dealerships throughout Europe. The group is 100% owned by the Hedin family and employs 2.900 people. Last year the dealer network Hedin BIL had a turnover of 1,45 billion euro and sold 60.000 cars. Goal for 2018 is 89.000.
In Belgium it already owned 7 other Mercedes dealerships, bought from the Mercedes importer, four in the Ghent area, three in Aalst, Ninove and Zottegem. Sources say they also want to buy the Mercedes dealer group Jacobs, operating in the Waasland area.
Belgian dealers are facing tough times. Their profit margin is low (2,15% in 2016) and technological evolution makes huge investments necessary. Many smaller dealers want to stop and that’s where the bigger, foreign players come in.
Lately the Swiss dealer giant, Emil Frey, has acquired its first 6 dealers in Belgium and the French Car Avenue took over 3 Mercedes dealerships in the Liège area. Even the fairly big Alcopa group (Moorkens family) has put its large Belgian dealer network for sale. They’re negotiating with the Dutch group Van Mossel but nothing is decided yet.
Too many small dealers
There are also too many (small) dealers and agents in Belgium, many brands try to decrease their number, for example the PSA Group, that has put all its dealers and agents in remission, while importer D’Ieteren urges 25 so-called ‘market area leaders’ to buy their smaller competitors.
The total of dealers and selling points in Belgium has halved in three years and counts 1.800 outlets for the moment, but the Belgian market is still interesting for foreigners because of the big sales (547.000 new cars in 2017, against 415.000 in the Netherlands).