It’s the third-biggest motor company in the world, behind only Volkswagen (VW) and Toyota. So why has Stellantis found it so hard to establish a secure foothold in the South African new-vehicle market? Can local manufacture and the promise of a comprehensive marketing plan finally bring the company the success it craves?

The Stellantis corporate name might not be familiar to many South Africans, but its local brands certainly are: Alfa Romeo, Citroën, Fiat, Jeep, Opel and Peugeot all have a long history in South Africa. Together, though, they account for barely 1% of the market. In February, combined, they sold fewer vehicles than Chinese truck company FAW. In the first two months of this year, Stellantis sales totalled 841 in a new-car market of 57,647 and a new-vehicle market of 86,964...

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