The association L’Aventure Peugeot Citroën DS announced the takeover of the commercial activities of Néo Rétro, a company specializing in the distribution of spare parts for old French cars. L’Aventure Peugeot Citroën DS is the re-branded name of Le Musée de l’Aventure Peugeot, a historical museum that had until recently been devoted to Peugeot automobiles.
The museum was founded by members of the Peugeot family, opening in 1988 across the road from the company’s industrial site at Sochaux. The Néo Rétro takeover came into effect on April 15, 2017.
As is typical of PSA press releases, there wasn’t much said about the how the deal came into effect, and what role, if any, will PSA take to actively manufacture parts for classic Citroëns and Peugeots in the manner other companies have dedicated themselves to supporting older models, such as Mercedes Benz. Reading between the lines, it appears that the owner of Néo Rétro just wanted to retire, and PSA stepped in to take over the company with little commitment other than to keep the doors open and presumably run the operation to make a profit.
“With the takeover of Néo Rétro, L’Aventure Peugeot Citroën DS continues to develop its mission to enhance the brand heritage of the PSA Group by increasing its offer of old spare parts and thus meeting the expectations of many members and enthusiasts,” said Xavier Peugeot, president of the association.
“Neo Rétro is ideally complementing our offer and better responding to the expectations of our passionate customers and customers who are looking for quality solutions. Thanks to the spare parts department, which has been developing for 6 years, the association becomes a major player in the market, “said Xavier Crespin, CEO of L’Aventure Peugeot Citroën DS. Xavier Crespin began as acting Director of “L’Aventure Peugeot Citroën DS” on July, 3, 2016.
Néo Rétro assured customers that the takeover will have no impact on orders and deliveries in progress. In fact they went on to say; “Thanks to this operation, numerous references will enrich the already well-supplied catalog of the Peugeot Citroën DS Adventure, and vice versa.” We presume they are referring to the adventure of going through their catalogs for Peugeot and Citroën and not looking through the old factory service manuals.
If, as a result of the takeover, Néo Rétro are simply supplying parts in the manner they were before, PSA is, in effect, competing with a number of independent parts suppliers in France and abroad that have invested in serving the same market. Will they be negatively effected by Néo Rétro under PSA’s control, or will their business flourish because they are more aggressively stocking and in some cases manufacturing new parts? We wish the press release could have been clearer about PSA’s commitment. Time will certainly tell. In the meantime we have members that have been looking endlessly for classic Citroën parts that appear to be non-existent; a unique 2 valve master brake cylinder produced for just 6 months that fits only an early 1960 ID19, the 7 cm high rear bumper for a 1964 2 CV AZAM and how about the impossible to get rear brake regulator valve for the H Van? Maybe Néo Rétro can show how serious they are by starting to offer these parts!
The press release stated that Neo Rétro’s team will remain based in Limoges and will work with the teams of the association in place in Sochaux and Aulnay (presumably by the latter they mean the staff at Le Conservatoire Citroën at Aulnay-sous-Bois.)
Then finally, after throwing about the term takeover in the press release, they state at the end; This independent association aims to “preserve, develop, promote and spread the heritage of the PSA Group’s brands”. So the takeover is really an association that leaves them Néo Rétro? Ah – the classic French ‘conquer but leave them independent’ mandate. Let’s see, it was tried in Syria, Lebanon, Indochina and Algiers. Worked really well in those places didn’t it?