PSA Group is creating a used-car business unit and buying a stake in a French online retailer as it seeks to double its second-hand car sales within five years.
"Our goal is to virtually double our used-car sales to 800,000 units by 2021 and achieve a four-fold increase in profit from the business," CEO Carlos Tavares said in a statement on Monday outlining plans for the automaker to "seize opportunities" in the rapidly changing market.
PSA's new used-car business unit will be headed by company veteran Marc Lechantre, a former head of the company's UK operations. The unit will be tasked with leveraging PSA's own retail network to develop used-car sales and related business activities.
PSA also said it plans to acquire a majority stake in Aramisauto, a French online second-hand car retailer, after buying an initial 30 percent stake. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Lechantre said the acquisition of Aramisauto, with 360 million euros ($403 million) in annual sales, would help PSA reach 800,000 used-car sales. The deal will unlock "strong growth potential in a second-hand market that is twice the size of the new-car market, but where we currently have little presence," he said.
Founded in 2001, Aramisauto reconditions vehicles at a dedicated factory and draws about 1 million monthly visitors to its site with the offer of home vehicle delivery and pickups, backed by a returns policy that includes full refunds.
Lechantre's new division will also bolster the automaker's own Peugeot and Citroen used-car networks and launch similar operations for the DS upscale brand.
Lechantre led the Peugeot and Citroen brands in the UK and Ireland in 2012. His career also includes stints in PSA's commercial department in Paris and as manufacturing head of the automaker's factory in Slovakia.
Faced with the rise of car-sharing and digital mobility operators such as Uber, many carmakers are eyeing an expansion into new businesses outside the traditional manufacturing and sale of new cars.
But PSA is going further than most. The automaker is creating a brand called Free2Move to group together its new transport offerings in areas such as car-sharing and peer-to-peer car rentals. PSA plans to launch car-sharing services in Los Angeles in partnership with Bollore Group.
The group is targeting a five-fold increase in parts sales through Mister Auto, the low-cost online retailer it acquired last year.
Tavares pledged to lead PSA into new business areas when he unveiled "Push to Pass," the second stage of his recovery plan for the company, in April.
Reuters contributed to this report