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Thread: INCHCAPE To Show Us How To Sell Citroens?

  1. #26
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    The only points mentioned relevant to this thread are 4 and 5.

    The Sydney dealer hinted at is probably unknown in Adelaide, but dominates the Citroen "world" in NSW.

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  2. #27
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    Certainly, any dealer network culling long-term dealers risks a loss of experience in the dealer network. Holden sacked 30 of its dealers, some long-established and the only dealer in a regional centre. Some of those pushed out will continue to offer their services to their customers, but no longer as a franchised dealer. Others will walk away from the product entirely, leaving fewer options for aftersales service.

    There are some relevant background articles re PSA/Inchcape at goauto. To pick just two of them:
    Peugeot, Citroen begin long climb back - GoAutoNews Premium
    Inchcape plans dealer cull - GoAutoNews Premium

    It's worth remembering that owners in Australia are not obliged to use a franchised dealer for service (including capped price offers) to protect their warranty and/or extended warranty, which is a common misconception. It may help, but it is not essential. Owners do have a choice. This is worth a read:
    https://www.choice.com.au/transport/...aler-servicing

    Citroen Australia is still offering the 6 year warranty on Picasso for vehicles sold to mid-December for anyone keen. There would still be demos and even some new stock that would come with the balance of a 6 year warranty, so it's a matter of asking the dealer. There is a sales event in the next week for both Pug and Citroen. No doubt the person trying to flog the cars will be aware of the options to extend the warranty. I believe Pug still has an older stock overhang, so there might be an opportunity to pick up a bargain that's had a few birthdays in storage.
    Last edited by David S; 13th November 2017 at 01:50 PM.
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    "When you have 38 dealers selling less than 200 a month, there’s no surprise that they’re not profitable."
    “We are working through a full network revision at the moment,” he told
    That will help in terms of profitability. I would like to get to – and this is more a medium to long-term issue rather than something in the short term – dealers in the city selling 75 units per month and those in the provincial areas selling 30 a month.
    Above is the message loud and clear. Improve sales. And there will be no loyalty to anyone and the KPI is the number of vehicles you sell.
    Mutual Respect is Contagious


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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Above is the message loud and clear. Improve sales. And there will be no loyalty to anyone and the KPI is the number of vehicles you sell.
    That sales figure overlooks the fact that several dealers would have accounted for a good portion of the total. There'd be a few ones and twos each month in there. Change was required, but using raw sales would be misleading for at least the Citroen dealers when a substantial portion of the Citroen model lineup (DS (3,4,5), C4, Picasso 5 seat, C5, C3 ...) has been progressively culled. 3008, 5008, new C3 and 2018 restyled Cactus should assist the continuing dealers, but they are arriving too late for others. Non-metro dealers like Cullens could be expected to knock out 30/month under the Inchcape plan. You locals better start liking new PSA products!
    Last edited by David S; 13th November 2017 at 07:44 PM.
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  5. #30
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    I'd still suggest total sales of 200 per month is not economically viable for a distributor.

    What management are saying is they don't care who suffers they just want the sales.

    And dealer loyalty shown by buyers in the past will soon go out the window when it's impossible to buy the car you want from your previous "loyal and experienced dealer "

    Inchcape have the authority and are welding it mercilessly. They have nothing to lose.

    It not a nice way to treat dealers but it reflects the desperate situation that Peugeot and Citroen are in and the "accounting" approach to selling cars.
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  6. #31
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    I wasn't disagreeing with the conclusion. The volume chart in one of those goauto article shows the decline clearly. It's even worse when you consider that is 200 units/month spread across a fairly diverse range. I don't think anyone has been contending the current level is adequate.
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    Related to this discussion around the vehicle range, I was in Paris a couple of weeks ago and looked at the DS7 in the DS showroom. I was really impressed by it - the interior is beautifully styled and the whole cabin is roomy including for rear passengers.
    top of the range model costs 60,000€,
    An electric version will follow as well as the DS8 - sounds like they won’t be available here unfortunately

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    I have been a French car nut all my life, owned several Renaults, a Citroen, a Simca and lastly a Peugeot, a 307. Bought it new in 2007. When it got to 10 years old I was ready for a new car and was leaning towards a new shape 308. My partner was against getting another Peugeot after a couple of bad experiences with dealer servicing:
    1. Early months of ownership, handbrake was coming all the way up and not gripping well. I asked for it to be adjusted and was told there was no adjustment, I must have yanked too hard and stretched the cable, replacement would be at my cost. I said all cables stretch and there would be an adjustment somewhere, their reply was I didn't know what I was talking about. I went home, googled it, found adjustment nuts are in the console, easily accessed by removing the rear ashtray. (Actually a neat design.)
    2. Front tie rod end needed replacement at about 30,000 km. I asked for warranty replacement, was told it was a wearable item, not covered by warranty. When, coincidentally, my partner's Skoda needed a tie rod end replaced at about 50,00 km, they not only replaced the worn one, but the other one as well -" just in case there was a bad batch" under warranty with no quibbling.
    3. later in the 307's life, fuel consumption increased suddenly from low 5's to over 6 and it didn't seem as responsive. (Vague symptoms...) I asked for them to plug in the diagnostic computer just to see if there were any error codes stored as I wasn't sure if there really was a problem or not. I was told it would cost $250. I said "no, I just want you to see if there are any codes, not do any actual repair" and they said yes, that is $250. Incredulous, I left and took it to a non-dealer Euro car specialist. He plugged in his gizmo for no charge, It said MAF sensor open circuit, so he got the job to replace it and got all future servicing.
    I still looked at the 308 wagon but I couldn't get a lower-spec car with the 1.2 triple engine in a wagon, only a high spec car with too many extras and a too big petrol engine with poor fuel economy for a very high price, or a diesel for an even higher price. There was no direct replacement for my 307 XS 1.6 HDI wagon. The nearest Pug was almost $40,000 and the Diesel over $40,000.

    That convinced me to look elsewhere, Skoda Octavia was almost there but getting the options I wanted without others I didn't want was impossible, so I ended up with a VW Golf comfortline wagon with driver assist pack (extra safety gear mainly) and towbar for $29000. Peugeot couldn't get close.

    Marketers are full of their own BS, it drives me crazy. They think it is all about logos and messaging and having coffee machines in the showroom. They need to listen to their customers and supply what the customers are asking for, and then having gained their business, not piss them off.

    Mitsubishi Australia was another example with the Magna. They had a nice little market niche selling a car with vast interior space in a modest exterior package, with a four cylinder engine suggesting moderate fuel consumption. The car drove well and was popular with practical, unpretentious people. My Mum had a 1990 TP sedan, I liked it and bought a later model wagon (a 1993 TR.) But the marketing department were unhappy that the car wasn't perceived as "cool", it was dismissed as a car for "cardigan wearers." Each successive change alienated their loyal owners, trying to make it appeal to Commodore buyers, which it never did. Mid 90s Magnas had high sides, smaller windows giving a more enclosed, less roomy feel; Wagons lost the split-folding rear seat, said to be for improved safety but lost a practicality feature; manual transmissions not available on wagons any more; four cylinder engines replaced with a smooth running six that slurped the fuel if you even breathed on the accelerator. I test drove a TW but when the instantaneous fuel economy reading hit 38 l/100 km as I took off, I took it straight back and replaced my much loved TR Magna 4 cyl manual wagon with...... a new Peugeot 307 diesel....

    I worked in hospitality all my working life. We were told early, if you have customers seated and waiting for you and the phone rings, your priority is the customer you already have. You don't piss off customers you already have, chasing ones you might never get. A concept lost on certain car distributors it seems...
    Last edited by simca1100; 14th November 2017 at 12:44 AM.
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    There seems to be a perception in Australia that car servicing by branded dealers is somehow an operation controlled by the manufacturer.

    I wonder how true that is for the various manufacturers involved in selling cars here.
    Regards,

    Simon

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    Thanks for the links, David - especially the insight from Nick Senior.

    As the owner of a 2015 C4 Picasso 5 seater, I am continually amused when motoring journos rabbit on about the features this or that vehicle competitor has while my Picasso sits quietly in the background saying yes, I've got that...and that...and that, etc. I'm surprised it hasn't sold well, as I think it's a great package but, I suspect, part of its problem has been that it has sat quietly in the background.

    Of greater immediate concern, my Picasso is due for its second (2 year) service soon. Unlike your Sydneysider compatriots, the incumbent dealer (there's only one in Adelaide) has less extensive Citroen experience and doesn't especially inspire confidence - especially as I understand it is losing the franchise and I'm not aware of any alternative in Adelaide.

    It will be interesting to see whether I receive communication from either the new dealer or Inchcape about future servicing and warranty support.

    On the point of dealer support, I agree with simca1100 that one doesn't need lots of bells and whistles, just good competent service at a reasonable price. Hopefully the newly appointed Adelaide Citroen dealer will deliver same. Chris
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    My car will continue to be serviced at the same place, whether they are part of the dealer network or not.
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    Cheers,
    Michael

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citquery View Post
    Thanks for the links, David - especially the insight from Nick Senior.

    As the owner of a 2015 C4 Picasso 5 seater, I am continually amused when motoring journos rabbit on about the features this or that vehicle competitor has while my Picasso sits quietly in the background saying yes, I've got that...and that...and that, etc. I'm surprised it hasn't sold well, as I think it's a great package but, I suspect, part of its problem has been that it has sat quietly in the background.

    Of greater immediate concern, my Picasso is due for its second (2 year) service soon. Unlike your Sydneysider compatriots, the incumbent dealer (there's only one in Adelaide) has less extensive Citroen experience and doesn't especially inspire confidence - especially as I understand it is losing the franchise and I'm not aware of any alternative in Adelaide.

    It will be interesting to see whether I receive communication from either the new dealer or Inchcape about future servicing and warranty support.

    On the point of dealer support, I agree with simca1100 that one doesn't need lots of bells and whistles, just good competent service at a reasonable price. Hopefully the newly appointed Adelaide Citroen dealer will deliver same. Chris

    That's great to hear! I didn't know the Belcar Group was giving up the Citroen franchise, but lets hope the new appointed dealer, if there is one, will be located in a better spot this time round. Would be great if Jarvis picked Citroen up too and then they could combine the two brands, like Inchcape have said they want to make happen. They want Peugeot and Citroen to be together, not stand alone locations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by simca1100 View Post
    I worked in hospitality all my working life. We were told early, if you have customers seated and waiting for you and the phone rings, your priority is the customer you already have. You don't piss off customers you already have, chasing ones you might never get. A concept lost on certain car distributors it seems...
    Superb summary. Couldn't agree more!

    I thought Peugeot and Citroen lost the plot somewhat with "ride quality" too after about the 306/406 times. As a customer, I like a comfortable ride, even if the motoring so-called journalists don't seem to remember what it means.

    Our Renault Scenics can't be matched by anything on current offer in the French camp (perhaps not in anyone else's for that matter), much like your 307 replacement issue.

    I've worked in consulting for many years - same as your area really, with clients...... Call them customers or whatever you want, but you'd better listen to them!

    Cheers
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    JohnW

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  14. #39
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    Not quite. Ride quality was unsurpassed up to the end of the hydraulic C5s. The B7 incarnation of the C4, while on springs, still has the serene ride of oid. Try one.

    The stiffer suspensions so common now are attempts by family cars to be sports cars. The Germans all have this disease. As you say, journalists approve.

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    And so do the customers who buy the cars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seasink View Post
    Not quite. Ride quality was unsurpassed up to the end of the hydraulic C5s. The B7 incarnation of the C4, while on springs, still has the serene ride of oid. Try one.

    The stiffer suspensions so common now are attempts by family cars to be sports cars. The Germans all have this disease. As you say, journalists approve.
    Fair enough re the C5. I've never ridden in a C4, vers. B7 either. I was shocked though, when I drove across France some years ago in a Xsara Picasso.

    Thanks for the comment.
    JohnW

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    9 years ago Citroen designed the C5 X7 to look like, and basically imitate, German vehicles like Audi, Mercedes, BMW. The marketing theme for the new C5 was that it was"unmistakably German" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMQnPWjK5pE).

    While the C5 X7 was an excellent car, the design had no French "avant garde" characteristics in its attempt to imitate the German product. The problem was that the only significant attribute which distinguished the C5 X7 from the German competition was the hydropneumatic suspension. That was simply not enough to make the C5 a sales success in Germany - or other countries. Why would you buy an imitation when you could buy the real thing? The lack of sales eventually led to the C5X7 being withdrawn from sale in Germany. Customers actually like firmer suspension. Both my C4 VTS and DS5 have perfectly acceptable rides and handle brilliantly. In addition, roads are vastly better today than they were in the 1950s when the hydropneumatic suspension was conceived and designed. PSA seem to have learnt the lesson from the disastrous C5 X7 experience, for example the DS5 being a very "French" design.

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    You really need both .... support the faithful fans:
    a) they may buy again
    b) they talk to other people

    and
    expand your market by good advertising + marketing.

    Citroen (well, the local agents) has/have a pretty poor record, especially with the first bit.
    I had such bad experiences with support with a new Xantia that it came close to shutting down my allegiance.
    The frustration being my bias towards Citroens, and separating the Car from the Agents...

    Other marques may suffer similar circumstances, but when we had a new Honda, and needed service/warranty, the dealer was exemplary.

    I do think that Citroen needs to maintain its focus on ride, ergonomics, innovation, style, comfort...
    why compete simply by making your car just a minor variant from the hundreds of others on the market?
    Let alone trying to compete on the same turf as BMW and Benz in Germany?
    Once upon a time:


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    And now:

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  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobL View Post
    Customers actually like firmer suspension. Both my C4 VTS and DS5 have perfectly acceptable rides and handle brilliantly. In addition, roads are vastly better today than they were in the 1950s when the hydropneumatic suspension was conceived and designed. PSA seem to have learnt the lesson from the disastrous C5 X7 experience, for example the DS5 being a very "French" design.
    Looking at passenger car sales in October for Germany do you really think PSA are on the right trajectory? Do Germans really want the firmer sporty ride?

    The only German marque to improve sales being Mercedes - Audi, BMW, Porsche, and VW all went backwards - On the other hand Citroen sales improved slightly where 'DS' brand fell off dramatically.
    http://europe.autonews.com/assets/PDF/CA112929112.PDF

    DS Sales All Models
    Car sales statistics are from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

    2014 2015 2016 2017
    January 6,579 5,487 5,603 3,767
    February 5,931 4,897 5,219 3,309
    March 11,614 9,823 9,363 6,370
    April 8,188 6,851 5,924 3,300
    May 8,188 5,013 5,946 3,795
    June 8,486 8,352 7,603 4,513
    July 6,994 5,845 4,924 3,626
    August 3,691 3,097 2,624 2,372
    September 9,263 7,680 6,491 4,685
    October 5,933 5,533 3,963
    November 5,268 6,104 3,959
    December 4,738 6,481 3,837


    Cheers
    Chris
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    74 D(very Special) >>Rejuvenation Thread<<
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    Quote Originally Posted by seasink View Post
    The B7 incarnation of the C4, while on springs, still has the serene ride of oid. Try one.
    Absolutely. Drove one for a month in France, on all types of roads and was amazed by the superb suspension. Excellent car the B7.
    DS Un jour, DS toujours !

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    A one month set of data is just a snapshot, and says little or nothing about longer term trends.

    For Q1 -Q3 of 2017 the top sellers in Germany were VW, Mercedes, Audi, and BMW, in that order.

    The DS brand is still being established in accordance with a long term plan, and there are new models coming. With exception of the new DS7, the present DS range has been around for quite a while, so it is not surprising that sales are down recently. It will be interesting to see how sales go when new DS models come on line.

  22. #47
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    Customers actually like firmer suspension.
    Do they really? Whenever anyone has a ride in one of the C5s in my family, or the newish C4, they say how pleasant it is, compared to their Audi, Beemer, Golf,etc. Given a free pick I'll run a C4 around town in preference to a Golf or Audi (all steel sprung).

    On the other hand my stiff turbo DS3 never gets a comment about the pleasant ride on any road around here, even though it can tear around the sharpest corners at a rate of knots. A different talent, right for a sports car, but not one particularly important in a standard family car. That said, the DS3 is better on your bottom than a Mini.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobL View Post
    A one month set of data is just a snapshot, and says little or nothing about longer term trends.

    For Q1 -Q3 of 2017 the top sellers in Germany were VW, Mercedes, Audi, and BMW, in that order.

    The DS brand is still being established in accordance with a long term plan, and there are new models coming. With exception of the new DS7, the present DS range has been around for quite a while, so it is not surprising that sales are down recently. It will be interesting to see how sales go when new DS models come on line.
    Those figures are for a 10 month period, January - October.

    See edit in my previous reply the DS brand outside of China has been on a downward spiral since 2014. . .

    Edit: Just looked at DS sales in China for the same period - same trend, I certainly hope the 'new' range brings the improvement you predict.
    http://carsalesbase.com/china-car-sales-data/ds/


    Cheers
    Chris
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    74 D(very Special) >>Rejuvenation Thread<<
    08 C5 X7 HDi very Noir



    "Dťesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

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    (Umberto Eco [Ed], The History of Beauty, Rizzoli, NY, 2004)

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    Quote Originally Posted by harrisson_citroen View Post
    Absolutely. Drove one for a month in France, on all types of roads and was amazed by the superb suspension. Excellent car the B7.
    I'll have to find one, I can see!

    Thanks for the information folk.
    JohnW

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    Chris,

    I hope so too.

    After 25,000km driving it, and comparing it with all the other Citroens I have owned, I can vouch that the DS5 is a brilliant car; the "cockpit" is a great place to be.

    Regarding ride quality, this article is well worth reading from Car magazine, via Citroenet, where the comment is made that:
    "Ride quality, though, is but one element in the sum of comfort". The full article is at: Car Magazine 1971-v-1991 CitroŽn GSX3-v-CitroŽn ZX Reflex

    I have driven the latest Peugeot 3008, which is a really fine vehicle, and is already having sales success.

    I have owned French cars since being a student in the UK in the 70s - Ami6, ID19s, DS23, XM Series 1 and 2, C5X7, C4VTS (current), DS5 (current), Berlingo (current) and I wish them well for the future, and I hope Inchcape brings new life to the marque in Australia - although I don't believe getting rid of their best dealer is the right way to start; quite the opposite.

    RobL
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