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Thread: INCHCAPE To Show Us How To Sell Citroens?

  1. #251
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    I'm staggered to hear about Continental Cars - from Perth they were the light at the end of the tunnel for Xantia parts that the locals said were not available. Ring up, describe situation, VIN number not needed, right stuff posted quickly. Wonderful people. Folly by Inchcape.
    Why do people make the assumption that Inchcape chose to do it?.


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    From the horse's mouth:
    Unfortunately to due commercial reasons, continental cars is no longer an authorised Citroen dealer.
    That means either Inchcape kissed them goodbye, or it wants some unacceptable changes. A single brand, successful dealer of what is a minor brand for over 50 years, with freshly renovated quality premises and nobody else nearby, is unlikely to want to go away just because it's time.

    We have mentioned mostly the workshop. The parts people are outstanding too, as mentioned. You won't be dealing directly with a principal at the other places in Sydney

  3. #253
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    Quote Originally Posted by seasink View Post
    From the horse's mouth:

    That means either Inchcape kissed them goodbye, or it wants some unacceptable changes. A single brand, successful dealer of what is a minor brand for over 50 years, with freshly renovated quality premises and nobody else nearby, is unlikely to want to go away just because it's time.

    We have mentioned mostly the workshop. The parts people are outstanding too, as mentioned. You won't be dealing directly with a principal at the other places in Sydney
    Or Continental are looking to change to an easier to sell marque or marques and the freshen up is part and parcel of that change.

    I'm really surprised Greg or David, with their "secret" connections haven't been able get the inside info.

    At the moment everything about the change seems to be uninformed conjecture.

    There is another possibility -retirement and sale of freehold real estate which would be worth many dollars.

    I guess we have the time to wait.
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  4. #254
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    I wouldn't be surprised if this decision eventually gets reversed or the distributor is changed yet again.

    Regarding Con Cars, they're certainly a lot more than a typical dealership. An older C5 once parked behind me in Surry Hills. The driver had obviously noticed the Con Cars sticker on my back window and what do you think she said? She didn't say anything about the make or models. No, she simply said "Bill & Greg! Aren't they lovely!"
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  5. #255
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Or Continental are looking to change to an easier to sell marque or marques and the freshen up is part and parcel of that change.

    I'm really surprised Greg or David, with their "secret" connections haven't been able get the inside info.

    At the moment everything about the change seems to be uninformed conjecture.

    There is another possibility -retirement and sale of freehold real estate which would be worth many dollars.

    I guess we have the time to wait.
    ... and there is yet another load of 'uninformed conjecture'.

    You might re-read the thread and in particular the link in here (given by RobL):
    INCHCAPE To Show Us How To Sell Citroens?
    and you should be able to draw a reasonable conclusion as to how things unfolded.

    It's not for me or Greg or anyone else to explain why this has happened. I don't know why and I doubt Greg knows why. However, I would guess Simon (SLC206) should get the gong for the most likely explanation, being:
    INCHCAPE To Show Us How To Sell Citroens?
    I would throw Peter Warren at Warwick Farm in the mix too.

    You can always pick up the phone and ask Bill Bunting (02 9759 1977).
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  6. #256
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    You can always pick up the phone and ask Bill Bunting (02 9759 1977).
    I'm not a stakeholder ie I don't own a Citroen and the marque I do own has an established network of trained dealers. Comparatively I'm spoilt for choice with dealers. I'm also in another state. So Continental being removed from Citroen "consciousness" is neither here nor there to me.

    I wouldn't know Bill Bunting from a bar or of soap, so to contact him and ask about "commercial in confidence" matters may seen as a little ungracious. And he would be within his rights to tell me to "p!ss off". So I don't intend to take your suggestion.

    I was just surmising that there may be AF members who are have a closer relationship to Bill, and be privy to some information. Which sure as hell most AF members are not. And since your name has been mentioned a few times and Greg originated the thread I saw you one or both of you as a possible source of accurate information.

    However, like many others in this thread I've offered my opinion, which still suggests that the Inchcape may not the sole reason Continental and Inchcape have parted company.

    FWIW The links you have posted are based on hypotheticals as well. Better thought through than some others, but still no concrete information.

    I apologise humbly, if I offended you.
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    How about we let this thread end, and just wait to see what happens! It is really out of our control anyway!
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    Cheers Gerry

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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Or Continental are looking to change to an easier to sell marque or marques and the freshen up is part and parcel of that change.

    I'm really surprised Greg or David, with their "secret" connections haven't been able get the inside info.

    At the moment everything about the change seems to be uninformed conjecture.

    There is another possibility -retirement and sale of freehold real estate which would be worth many dollars.

    I guess we have the time to wait.
    I would say that Bill & Greg would never abandon Citroen. They may retire from the automotive trade, but they would never change Citroen for some other marque.

    John
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Or Continental are looking to change to an easier to sell marque or marques and the freshen up is part and parcel of that change.

    At the moment everything about the change seems to be uninformed conjecture.

    There is another possibility -retirement and sale of freehold real estate which would be worth many dollars.

    I guess we have the time to wait.
    There's no uninformed conjecture. I've spoken directly with Bill and Greg. Inchcape cut the cord in a curt and ungracious manner. I posted earlier in this thread that Continental (Bill, Greg and the team) live and breath Citroen. They recently rejuvenated the premises and acquired new equipment. They weren't looking for change. This is all about Inchcape ensuring that their own dealers are given a leg-up because they knew they could not compete with the best.
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  10. #260
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    I concur with diesel pete's comments above. I recently sent an email to Bill and Greg and the reply from Bill equates with pete's post.

    A sad situation when a trusted and valued dealer and technical team is cast asunder in such a disgusting manner.
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  11. #261
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    Quote Originally Posted by diesel pete View Post
    There's no uninformed conjecture. I've spoken directly with Bill and Greg. Inchcape cut the cord in a curt and ungracious manner. I posted earlier in this thread that Continental (Bill, Greg and the team) live and breath Citroen. They recently rejuvenated the premises and acquired new equipment. They weren't looking for change. This is all about Inchcape ensuring that their own dealers are given a leg-up because they knew they could not compete with the best.
    According to this story, Inchcape was 'encouraging' dealers to sell both Peugeot and Citroen
    https://www.carsales.com.au/editoria...erhaul-108408/

    I wonder if that had something to do with it – would CC want to be a Peugeot dealer as well? Also the location – not ideal.

    Anyway, the main thing is that Continental Cars were fantastic. I only went there for some warranty work on a C2 but I was bowled over by Greg's sheer professionalism and knowledge.

    Look at it this way: Citroen is unlikely to be a volume brand here, ever. So you get a problem with your fresh Citroen, and most dealers will know next to nothing about fixing it, nor care. CC had a lot of expertise with Citroen and interest in fixing the cars. It was a 'brand ambassador' (even though I hate that term) for Citroen.

    Ateco (for all its faults) knew what it had in CC: according Ateco's PR guy back in the day they loved CC.

    I wonder if CC will continue with (non-authorised) service and used cars? I hope so, because it would be such a shame to lose this great resource (no, I am not a relative or friend of these people, just know when I see a good dealer operation. So do quite a few of you, by the looks of it).
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    My "through the looking glass" query is, now that Renault Nissan have bought 38% of Mitsubishi, how does that leave everyone in the PSA "Collaborative" camp?
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Yes, Renault control Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors, Dacia, Samsung Motors and the Russian group that I can never spell right. In some large markets they cross badge their cars according to local brand image. The Dacias are often badged Renault for example. The Koleos is Samsung built and branded Renault in Western markets. etc etc.
    I am expecting that in small markets like Australia they will progressively merge their dealerships.

    It is not just Sushi in the Bouillabaisse but Dim Sims and Kim Chee as well . PSA are now using Aisin gearboxes made in China and are about to import 100,000 petrol motors from China to fill the gap created by the rapid drop off of diesel sales in Europe and the shift to automatics to make it easier to meet the stricter pollution laws coming into force.
    Last edited by gerry freed; 9th December 2017 at 08:29 AM.
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    Hi Guys,

    The problem with Aussie Frogs is some people don't read what is printed, and then continue to make comments about what they thought they read. One recent comment was that this post was full of uninformed conjecture!

    Well, not on my part.

    Quite a while back Robmac asked under what circumstances was Con Cars relieved of the dealership. In a subsequent posting I stated that they were dumped. I think the word dumped means there was no participation from Con Cars, only a decision from Inchcape.

    I also stated that Con Cars were in the process of complying with the wishes of Inchcape, and were in the process of taking Peugeot onboard, even though they weren't that happy? It's a bit like going to Goodwins at Cessnock with a Citroen to service or repair. They will probably do it?, but there won't be any smiling (ROFLOL).

    I also wrote that Con Cars may have been moved out of the way so that a perceived bigger player will be pressured into taking on Citroen without any local competition. Time will tell what cards Inchcape have up their sleeve?

    Greg Bunting told me many years ago, at the time they were selling large numbers of new Citroen, that they were no more profitable than when they were just selling used cars.

    Selling new cars can often be a big liability, and while it is a source of continuity, it can also cause a lot of headaches, especially if there is a lot of warranty problems.

    Being a dealer these days also requires the dealership to only sell genuine parts that are imported by the concessioner at their set prices, so the dealership is virtually in shackles, under the importers control. Recent importers have strenuously inforced this compliance with spare parts.

    So Continental Cars may well be better off, and can now run their business as they see fit, and buy their parts at much better prices, from where they decide.

    The loss is is the Citroen buyer in general. What Inchcape have done is take away Citroen's continuity, the respectability to have a dealer of very long standing, and highly regarded, no longer part of the network.There is not many people in Sydney who don't know where Continental Cars is located.

    With all the longstanding dealers and distributors of the past, like AO Duttons & Sons, Chateau Motour, Ian Robinson Motors, and Maxim Motors now all gone, the new or existing dealers come with little credibility, and no guarantee that there will be around for even the term of the warranty period.

    I used to think that it took people with special qualities to run a success business, but I've now decided that more often than not, they are run by people whose only qualification is the ability to keep their job, and justify their existence.

    Citco and Maxims are the only credible importers in Citroen history in Australia, although Ateco did make a fairly professional attempt in their earlier days, but the rest, Bryson, Franzcar, Sime Darby, were all pretty lame.

    Whether Inchcape can pull the habit out of the hat remains to be seen, but seeing they have just shot the rabbit, I don't like their chances?

    best regards,

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    Oh dear. . .

    I'll close the thread, do a bit of housekeeping, but as this is still a developing situation for Citroen owners not just in Sydney but around Australia re-open to informed comment. . .

    Edit: and we're back. . .



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    I just walked down Church Street Parramatta and 'behold', Peugeots and Citroens in the old previous Peugeot facility which currently is selling Subaru! I asked how long they had been there and he said 10 days or the beginning of December. The left hand show room was full of Peugeots and two new Citroens, Grand Picasso and a C3 SUV type. There was no signage or marketing visible only desks, cars and staff? Inchcape/Trivett are back in business with Subaru/Peugeot/Citroen?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gerry freed View Post
    Yes, Renault control Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors, Dacia, Samsung Motors and the Russian group that I can never spell right. In some large markets they cross badge their cars according to local brand image. The Dacias are often badged Renault for example. The Koleos is Samsung built and branded Renault in Western markets. etc etc.
    I am expecting that in small markets like Australia they will progressively merge their dealerships.

    It is not just Sushi in the Bouillabaisse but Dim Sims and Kim Chee as well . PSA are now using Aisin gearboxes made in China and are about to import 100,000 petrol motors from China to fill the gap created by the rapid drop off of diesel sales in Europe and the shift to automatics to make it easier to meet the stricter pollution laws coming into force.
    Where are Aisin Gearboxes made in China???? Ref:Office Plant | About AW | AISIN AW CO., LTD.

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    We are getting off the NSW dealership topic again...But perhaps here - TANGSHAN AISIN GEAR CO.,LTD. | AISIN World Corp. of America or here http://www.aisin.com/news/2012/000092.html
    Last edited by seasink; 13th December 2017 at 04:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sans_sagesse View Post
    According to this story, Inchcape was 'encouraging' dealers to sell both Peugeot and Citroen
    https://www.carsales.com.au/editoria...erhaul-108408/

    I wonder if that had something to do with it – would CC want to be a Peugeot dealer as well? Also the location – not ideal.
    As Greg mentioned in a post above, Cont Cars were taking on Peugeot. When I was there a few weeks ago there was a new Peugeot sign up.

    Continental Cars will continue, and I am very thankful for this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by diesel pete View Post
    As Greg mentioned in a post above, Cont Cars were taking on Peugeot. When I was there a few weeks ago there was a new Peugeot sign up.

    Continental Cars will continue, and I am very thankful for this.
    All that for nothing!


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    No it wasn't. There is still no mention of Continental on the Inchcape/Citroen website.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seasink View Post
    No it wasn't. There is still no mention of Continental on the Inchcape/Citroen website.
    It sounds like they simply missed the sign-up deadline.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagaman View Post
    It sounds like they simply missed the sign-up deadline.


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    But what Chevron branded product have they got to sell anyway ? Cactus ( is it the old stuff or the new progressive hydraulic cushion equipped model ?) ,new C3, Picasso and Berlingo vans according to my recent search of Citroen Australia's website.
    The Citroen Australia website is still showing the OLD original prefacelift Cactus.
    No prestige or family saloon or wagon, the traditional C5 type of market niche. I don't need a small city runabout or a van or a people mover. No trendy SUV in the line up either, no ute or bigger 4WD. With these product offerings Citroen will remain a niche player, probably not what Inchcape hope for. When was the last time you saw a new FIAT or Alfa ? Yet there are heaps of Jeeps of all varieties on our local Brisbane roads. If volumes count the product mix is wrong.
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  24. #274
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    Quote Originally Posted by fritzelhund View Post
    But what Chevron branded product have they got to sell anyway ? Cactus ( is it the old stuff or the new progressive hydraulic cushion equipped model ?) ,new C3, Picasso and Berlingo vans according to my recent search of Citroen Australia's website.
    The Citroen Australia website is still showing the OLD original prefacelift Cactus.
    No prestige or family saloon or wagon, the traditional C5 type of market niche. I don't need a small city runabout or a van or a people mover. No trendy SUV in the line up either, no ute or bigger 4WD. With these product offerings Citroen will remain a niche player, probably not what Inchcape hope for. When was the last time you saw a new FIAT or Alfa ? Yet there are heaps of Jeeps of all varieties on our local Brisbane roads. If volumes count the product mix is wrong.
    Another reason I liked Citroen is they are leaders rather than followers of car trends. Given the quality of our roads, the fact most utes are uthless in their primary role (old Holden utes were more useful) and 4WD is generally only used for clowns that bog them on the sand of Fraser Island because they can (but they can't drive).

    Admittedly, SUVs are good at running over your kids and are necessary for much of our overweight population. One doesn't have to bend much to get into them, which is good for beer gutted people who are in their third trimester and the suspension can cope with the added weight.

    I have watched in amazement over my lifetime, as the country towns closed down and people moved to the cities, that these city folk go for all manner of vehicles that make sense in the bush, but not in Homebush. That mindset has seen Citroen shunned with its comfortable ride and suspension, exemplary manners for long distance touring at whatever speed your remaining demerit points allow. I suppose in the end Australian individualism has reached a stage where each individual must mirror other individuals and buy what the current trend is, whether it suits them or not. So they buy a black Audi SUV and have the windows tinted black. Or a "compact" Ford Ranger and drive it around empty.

    John
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    Fair enough John. I doubt anyone stops to talk to folk who emerge from these inappropriate tanks. On the other hand, I can't go to the shops very often without whichever of our older French cars starting a lovely conversation. What social ice-breakers they are, unlike that exact black Audi you mentioned. I often see them sitting with the engine idling for God's sake, AC on full blast, and an unwilling child in the back buried in an electronic game. My wife does comment "old man shouting at cloud!" and maybe she has a point.

    I agree the Citroen line-up is off the mark. Mind you, a while back we helped a friend try to get a barbeque into a Jeep of some sort, and the rear load space was pathetic, so heaven knows what logic people are using when they buy the things. Inchcape needs to sort out what that logic is though, if they want to sell cars profitably.

    Here in Perth, Renault/Suzuki is taking over the old Peugeot/Citroen sales/service place in Osborne Park, a step up in size for the "north of the river" outlet, although a bit further off the car strip geographically. I've no idea about PSA north of the river, but not much interested at present truth to tell.
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