Van Mossel spreads its Belgian tentacles with six extra dealerships
Van Mossel Automotive Group, one of the Netherlands’ biggest car dealers, is spreading its international tentacles further in Belgium with the take-over of the six family-owned garages of Van Kelst. It concerns dealerships of PSA (Peugeot-Citroën-DS) in Schriek, Aarschot, and Louvain, and a Kia dealership in Aarschot.
If approved by the Belgian competition authority BMA, the deal will be finalized before the end of the year. According to Erik Berkhof, CEO of Van Mossel, it’s a ‘strategic addition’ to the PSA and Kia dealerships the Dutch group acquired earlier with the GMAN group, Bruyninckx, and Mercedes CAC in Turnhout.
In the deal, all staff of the current Van Kelst garages will be transferred to the Van Mossel Group too. Van Mossel’s Peugeot and Citroën dealerships in Belgium will be managed by Christophe, son of the founder of the family group, André Van Kelst.
The Dutch car retailer already runs some 150 dealerships in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, and Germany. With the group, Van Mossel and its 2.300 people realize a gross turnover of more than 2,5 billion euros. In the Netherlands, the consolidation wave among car dealers has almost passed.
Room for expansion
“Belgium still offers room for expansion because the market is bigger,” Berkhof told newspaper De Telegraaf in October. “The Netherlands counts 17 million people, and we sell 428.000 cars; in Belgium, this is 530.000 cars and 11 million people. Belgians are more emotional about their car too.”
There a few brands it hasn’t in its portfolio if you see the list of brands its represents: Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Škoda, Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Hyundai, Kia, Jaguar, Land Rover, Ford, Opel, Mercedes-Benz, Smart, Fiat, Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Jeep, Renault, Dacia, Nissan, Infiniti, Mitsubishi, and finally Chinese-owned MG.
Chinese EV SUV for 32.000 euros
The latter is launching the MG ZS EV, a brand new full-electric SUV made under the old British brand name by Chinese manufacturer SAIC. Van Mossel will sell it at about 32.000 euros with its 44,5 kWh battery pack, offering a range of 263 km (WLTP). According to Berkhof, already 1.200 orders are registered, among which lots of private buyers.
Apparently, Berkhof isn’t afraid of the huge challenge the transition to electric cars will become for the car dealership of the future. “Those cars indeed need less maintenance, but tires, brake blocks and damage by accidents will remain the same,” he told the newspaper last month.
30% less maintenance
“We expect the EV to need 30% less maintenance. By 2030, the car fleet will be 30 to 35% electric. The total of maintenance needed by then will be somewhat 10% lower. We’ll have to compensate that loss with growth elsewhere. But for this, we have enough time.”
He is also a strong believer in leasing formulas for the future, not only for company cars but also for private lease. “People who bought a new car are often gone after two years when the warranty period is finished. With a leasing contract, they are staying with you for years. That way you build a real relationship as a car dealer.”
Van Mossel also owns seven second-hand car dealerships and its own network of body repair shops. Leasing is another big thing for the Dutch group, with International Car Lease Holding managing some 83.000 cars, being in the top five of leasing companies in the Netherlands and also active in Belgium, Germany, and Luxembourg.