Can we have everybody's opinion on this?
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  1. #1
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Can we have everybody's opinion on this?

    Presently we have threads going on 206 & 307 wagons which may/are coming to Australia.
    We often have discussed the Picasso and Saxo, the Renault people mover (the one offered to Citroen who said it wouldn't be popular so declined it moon roll_lau roll_lau
    We also have had threads discussing dealer problems, service issues and parts costs, all of which are really hypothetical or at best wishful thinking without direct involvement from the distributors.
    The question is, how many of you favour us inviting a direct link to the distributors? (ie) Ateco & Renault Aust.?
    Ground rules that will have to be strictly adhered to by both parties would have to be set such as no abusive or defamatory issues discussed on list but "without prejudice" type e-mails sent between whoever they put forward as their "aussiefrogs representitive" and anyone who has a volatile issue between themselves and the distributor and/or the dealer can be used. The issue then becomes one between the individual & the company rather than a public slanging match based on the assumption that someone "may" see it.
    For their part, it gives the distributors a grass roots opinion of their cars, dealer network & after sales service. It puts their service agents under the spotlight and gives them incentive to perform (unlike as is presently the case with some) and this feedback has to be of mutual benefit.
    In return, we ask that they post details of new model releases, test drives and special offers. This will not include blatant advertising and the type of bullshit propaganda car manufacturers are famous for.
    I would even envisage a special forum just for the distributors if that is considered feasible & possible by gibgib & co.
    I would like to hear your thoughts on this & if it appears to be a possibility, then I will look at posting a poll on it to gauge the depth of support if replies don't overwhelmingly endorse it.
    Welcome back from Holidays gibgib...was gunna send you a mail but thought this way might be a bit more spectacular eek! eek!

    Can I please have your thoughts, one way or the other.

    Alan S cheers!

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  2. #2
    1000+ Posts tekkie's Avatar
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    Alan,

    Thats a great idea. The industry insder ideas might help to dispel some fairytales and hearsays.
    One might always hope for some form of limited sponsorship (caps, shirts, etc) to attract more members to attend the drive days, tracks days or cruises. It would defineately be a win win situation for all groups.
    On the other hand one has to ask how skewered will the forum become if the members are asked to curb their opinions? And while I dont believe for a second that we could hope to silence those that want to speak their minds the idea of being "polite" about cars that are average or downright ugly might not be in the best interests of the forum. We all have our opinions irrespective of being likened by all members.

    That aside. Bring it ON ! head_ban

    Great idea.
    .
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  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! MYT205's Avatar
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    Good idea, but 2 chances of it actually happening.

  4. #4
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    Geez, Alan, that's a great idea!

    Stuey


    2003 PEUGEOT 206 GTi

  5. #5
    2000+ Brad's Avatar
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    Given this forums presence as the definitive Australian resource for discussions regarding French cars, I would see it to be invaluable to the distributors to have feedback from the people who live and breath these cars, and likewise for us who can ask direct questions to the distributors. We have to keep in mind however that they all have access to this site, its contents and for all we know, the managers/PR department could be posting 'seeds' to get unbiased feedback on new products etc. If we didn't know any better, we could read macquered's post as a 'seed' from a rival manufacturer, or possibly even from Sime Darby themselves to gauge public sentiment on the possibility of importing the SW's.

    If the manufactures provided a valuable contribution to this forum, I would fully support their input. One consideration from them may be that the larger and more public this forum is (ie. if non-subscribers can read the distributor threads) the less likely they will be to publish specials or news not privy to the general public. Required login for the thread may be an option.

    I love to hear new info about the models possibly coming into Australia. I had a few words with the manager of City Peugeot (Brisbane) at last years Motorshow regarding the 206gti180 (RC). At that stage the model was not confirmed but he was able to tell me this was not due to demand but rather lack of stock.

    My hand is raised in support. head_ban
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  6. #6
    Local Tyrant gibgib's Avatar
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    Sounds good.
    Do you remember Grant405 (mem# 251) from 2001?
    He was from Peugeot Australia at Horsley Park & made 20 posts before disappearing. I think email requests got a bit much for him. He helped me out a few times.

    I'm sure the companies read this forum or at least know about it.
    Getting info from the horseís mouth would be great all the same.

    Wondering what their protocol is with news & media releases. Can't imagine Wheels magazine announcing a new Renault model as quoted from "aussiefrogs.com" website.

    Happy to assist, whether it be a snail mail to Ateco & Renault proposing it, or adding the necessary forum to cater.

    {edit: spelling (got distracted)}

    <small>[ 13 January 2003, 10:09 PM: Message edited by: gibgib ]</small>

  7. #7
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    tekkie:
    Alan,

    Thats a great idea. The industry insder ideas might help to dispel some fairytales and hearsays.
    One might always hope for some form of limited sponsorship (caps, shirts, etc) to attract more members to attend the drive days, tracks days or cruises. It would defineately be a win win situation for all groups.
    On the other hand one has to ask how skewered will the forum become if the members are asked to curb their opinions? And while I dont believe for a second that we could hope to silence those that want to speak their minds the idea of being "polite" about cars that are average or downright ugly might not be in the best interests of the forum. We all have our opinions irrespective of being likened by all members.

    That aside. Bring it ON ! head_ban

    Great idea.
    All,

    Don't get the idea that these guys won't get a good kickin' in the nuts if they deserve it, what I'm saying is that the way it's gone about will require a bit of protocol; in other words, you ask a question before making a statement if you get what I mean.
    BTW, as it's my idea & I have been at the coal face in years gone by, I don't mind being the one to approach the manufacturers/distributors to invite their participation if that is OK by gibgib & everyone else.
    It's not an ego thing, it's more a case of "been there done that" but if anyone else wants to volunteer; speak up now or forever....

    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts dino's Avatar
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    great idea....but its a shame it was not instigated by the distributors themselves....hell...if i was running the HEAD OFFICE...i d have one of my guys/gals on here 24/7...but because they dont it probably means they dont really give a rats arse.....PLEASE NOTE:
    alan s, everything you ve said makes sense and it would be great if it could be made to work but i ve seen some of these guys at work (toyota, honda,holden and sadly kia)and they seem to LISTEN to their dealers more than anybody...i can just see it: ask a question...response is: "i m sorry but u ll have to speak to your dealer about it" or "I m sorry but that information is currently reserved for the dealerships..."
    Anyway...i dont mean to be pessimistic (and not because i am not and probably wont be a new car buyer very soon) but to tell u the truth I would more than likely RESPECT your OPINIONS more than some guys/gals thats been sent as the official pug/ren/cit representative/spy who really doesn t give a s...t about your or mine opinion...but the new 406 coupe in the garage means he/she would have to deal with us...

    sorry guys...i can crap on a bit...if you can make it happen it would be of great help( i m sure) to many visiting this forum...but i must admit i do like this forum as is....(probably because i hate being told what is and what isn t buy some guy wearing an OFFICIAL badge)

    cheers

  9. #9
    1000+ Posts HONG KONG PUGGY's Avatar
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    Alan,
    Given the number of times the French marques have started/stopped distributing cars in our great land, and the noise they are now making as to why we should give them a fair go now; we can only hope that part of their on going commitment would be a direct link so as they can hear first hand just exactly what we desire.
    Good luck, and heres hoping they listen and grant our requests.
    Cheers Chris
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  10. #10
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Alan,

    Good idea. The agents should welcome the sort of feedback that comes from forums like this.

    It might help us get to the bottom of certain issues that keep cropping up too, like heater matrices and Xantia clutch clips!! Some of the odd items that fail more often might be targetted for local spare part manufacture, to get a bit of strength in where it may be lacking.

    You've my support.

    JohnW
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  11. #11
    Banned renaulturbo's Avatar
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    I reckon there would be more interest from the distributors if we were a site of members who did not own a french vehicle but were thinking of buying one; a group of prospective buyers would attract their intere$t. 98% here already drive a froggy and apart from the "i own a DS now i want a C5" oddity, we wouldnt represent a big enough slice of the market for them to direct some of their 'attention' to us.

    But hey, if im proved wrong and they are interested in what owners have to say after they've bought a Pug/Cit/Ren, then it'll be pretty dam good!

  12. #12
    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    it's definately worth giving a go
    if it works great
    if it doesn't at least you gave it a go
    you never know they may realise that it's the quality of after sales service that creates a large amount of the new car sales
    i make sure that i keep in touch and ensure that machines that i sell are going well and ensure that the customers are happy
    1 it keeps them happy knowing that i care
    2 they tell others and business increases

    after sales and customer service creates more business even for major car makers
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  13. #13
    1000+ Posts Warwick's Avatar
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    There may be some lip service paid to grassroots involvement by an enthusiastic, trying-to-make-a-difference(before the caring is dried out of him) junior executive but I cannot foresee any genuine interest from a distributor forthcoming.
    Having sold cars for 15 years (Alfa, Peugeot and Citroen) not once has a distributor asked me what do the customers want. Not once have they enquired what the customers ask for. What problems they are having. What colors do they like, do you think a wagon would sell. Not once has anybody asked what the customers like or dislike about a car. This is what importers need to know, but given the politico/corporate structure of them I doubt very much on any meaningful interest here at all. Much to my disappointment.
    Credit where it's due; Myles, in charge of Citroen tries harder than anyone. He is the only exception to this rule I have struck. This man is a gem and unusually DOES try to make a difference. He is almost a one man show, but is talented and interested. Look at his results. Excellent growth.
    However, the best a burocratic distributor can usually seem to do is collect stupidly worded and leading, customer service surveys every now and then and use them as a weapon to deflect blame to the dealers for their own failures and shortcomings. It's all about delegation of blame.
    Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of crappy dealers out there. But there are also a lot of dealers hamstrung by stupidity from above.
    Within this corporate structure distibutors staff are paid to be experts, and by definition therefore the opinions of people outside of the exalted positions are not worth a pinch of salt as they are not experts and whose thoughts therefore are a level below. People are paid to know more than you or I, so they act like they know more than you or I.
    I don't speak as an embittered car salesman, but one who believes striving towards improvement of service goes furthur than a corporately styled showroom. One who has tried to make a difference but who has met with complete disinterest at all levels of power within many distributorships.
    I find this attitude continually astounding, but uniform.
    A matter of the least interest to a distributor is vehicle faults. They know all about them, can't do anything about it(cos the French or Italians think they know all about it and aren't interested) and therefore don't want to hear about them. But these things are of course the things that customers and dealers want to point out and change. The most frustrating and important matters of all. I think there is a cultural problem here.
    Just watch the importers eyes glaze over when the too short front 307 carpets are mentioned. (Not that I have spoken about it)Shouldn't be the case, but it is.
    "Now my dream lies shattered like the shards of a broken dream"

  14. #14
    1000+ Posts TroyO's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great idea Alan. If anything, it would be good way people like myself in "remote" locations to get into closer contact with the distributor.

    Troy.

  15. #15
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    As I've said in the past Ford Australia's CEO participates in the main Ford forum on the net. Maybe it's not him, and one of his lackies but it does happen.

    However, small volume importers would care very little about what enthusiasts want or what their opinion is. That is because enthusiasts don't make up the majority of the car buying public. Most car marketing people barely know what makes people buy a particular brand over another.

    I also see little advantage that the importer would get by a grievance being aired, even politely. As their ONLY response will be to concede defeat, in the interests of customer service.

    What I would like to see more of is all that marketing fluff and stats that the press get in their press kits. That stuff is useful. It's good to know about the history of the car, the philosphy, all that kind of stuff. Stuff you definately don't get in a manual.
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  16. #16
    1000+ Posts Bruce H's Avatar
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    Sounds good to me, Alan.
    Aussiefrogs now has a susbstantial membership that you'd expect to have some interest for the local distributors, and from what I've read has a reasonably broad spectrum of client types as well.
    The distributors' own websites may be perceived as fulfilling some of the functions you mention, but as you point out there are questions we ask that don't rate a response on those sites.
    Bruce H

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  17. #17
    Tadpole
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    Great idea might get a view point from the other side of the fence.

    Steve peugeot_ cheers!

  18. #18
    Fellow Frogger! WRX2PUG's Avatar
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    Alan,

    I think the idea definitely has merit. When we started the WRX club and grew a significant membership in WA we approached Subaru as there were a number of issues re dealerships, warranty, service etc. Although we were smaller in numbers say membership of 250 in WA, the 250 people driving WRXs (and much bigger clubs interstate) were vocal and quite visible and their other impreza sales were pulled through by the image and perception of the WRX, it's visibility and the way it was shown in the public eye - for example local motorsport events, associated with a professional club etc etc.

    My experience is that the distributor doesn't have the time to join and monitor forums but do have an interest in the key issues because in the end, it does affect their sales performance, market perception of the marque and the success of their dealerships.

    Perhaps an alternative to having reps from the distributor on the forum would be to appoint one or more of the Aussiefrogs moderators or leaders as representatives who would meet on some regular basis eg each quarter to chat face to face with these people or have the ability to represent key Aussiefrog member issues (raised in say a specific forum) and then to be able to pass this feedback back - in a sense, this would make communication easier for them and they and we would be more likely to get a result.

    Cheers
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  19. #19
    1000+ Posts CHRI'S16's Avatar
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    Alan S, i think most has been already said that i would have added.
    I too though support your tender.
    Xq
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  20. #20
    Sense Pug307's Avatar
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    I'd have to agree with WRX2PUG - it's a bit hard for manufacturers to monitor forums. Having said that, I've found the local Peugeot PR guru to be very helpful with a good attitude.

    Cheers,

    Justin

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  21. #21
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    O.K.

    Now we have a fair concensus of opinion on this, I'll try to give you some idea of how I think it will operate.
    It has to be remembered that this is my suggestion, not set in stone, but the way I intend to approach the situation as a starter.
    Unless I'm way off the mark, it won't end up operating per se; the car business just don't woyk that way there will have to be concessions made all round to establish a working formula suitable to all parties.

    I have had off list correspondence that was sceptical of the long term effects on the board if this was operational, non of which I feel were warranted as this is not intended to be the focal point of the entire board. I have pasted below, sections of the response I used as a reply & in the interests of maintaining confidentiality of some concerned, have edited certain sections.

    Could you please read so that you are aware of the proposed suggestion.
    .................................................. ..............
    Firstly, I need to word out a proposition to the various head honchos which can't be a short & casual 'note' but a proper submission. This can be done with or without the names of contacts, the reason for the contacts is to just make the whole thing happen quicker & less messy than having to wade through the lower order in the company & have to withstand walls of waffling
    bullshit & trying to explain to lackies something about which they have no understanding but are trying to get some brownie points by tossing useless obstacles in our path.
    This will be time consuming from my point of view but in all honesty, I don't think anyone else on aussiefrogs would have the experience I have in the motor trade at this level to be able to competently handle it nor the time to spend on doing it thoroughly. It's as much about business poitics as it is about anything else & one wrong move will blow it all out the window.
    I am not asking for the honcho to actively participate in the forum, what I am doing is opening the direct channels to him/her so that we now have the ear of the top dog if we require it. I am also asking for him/her to appoint someone as a contact to liase with anyone who has a problem, which incidentally would be a minor part of this section of the forum NOT a major one, but more especially it would be a forum where questions such as why we didn't have say the XM turbo diesel imported, or when approximately might
    we expect the Picasso and in what mechanical form & so on.
    A situation such as the one presently confronting Chris M with a dealer not wanting to cover brake rotors under warranty could be resolved & in the
    process future problems such as this could be avoided on two fronts; the distributors representitive can openly explain why this is policy, for all we know it could be for a very valid reason and with a direct link to the
    distributors future potential situations such as this could be worked out & not plastered all over the public arena.
    As far as "them" being constantly looking over our shoulder, it won't happen.
    The section of the forum will have to be actively moderated and gibgib realises this & has asked if I am prepared to do this & I have accepted. It will take more than one to do this as I'm not always here but the idea of the moderators role as I see it is that a cursory eye is cast over the forum on occasions during the day and we have say a posting from someone regarding a problem
    with a car or dealer which is a fairly benign question, I will simply drop my contact at whoever it is referring to (Cit/Pug/Ren) a short note with a link to the message on the board & wait for a reply. In the case of the message being of a controversial nature, I would firstly contact the poster pointing out that this may be a better subject broached off list and again
    point the nominated rep for a particular company at it. If the question cannot be resolved by the intermediary for the company, then the person asking the question can then advise to that effect & at our discretion (the moderators) will then contact the person at the top to intervene or make an executive decision.
    As has been pointed out, these distributors guys would be casually running through our boards at odd times anyway; what we are doing here is bringing them in out of the rain. We aren't trying to usurp the use of their websites,
    we are only doing what the likes of DJR (Dick Johnson Racing) & HRT (Holden Racing Team) are doing with Ford & Holden owners. It won't detract from the board it will enhance its appeal and add a new dimension that we currently don't have but there is a crying need for. If the best they could respond with is that they aren't interested in a handful of car enthusiasts as some
    have suggested, then we should be driving Holdens & they should be selling fish at the markets, they just don't think that way; here's a free outlet to show off their goods and pump up their stocks. If we were Holden & we were making this offer I could imagine them being cynical, after all if you sell a handful of cars through it the % increase in sales would be miniscule, however when you are looking at miniscule sales figures to start with, a handful can make a difference & the opportunity to be on the ground with the punters is not one they will get too often, in fact they spend millions trying to achieve what we are offering...gratis.
    Don't lose sight of the fact that this kind of thing at this level of management is what I used to do for a living; might be hard to believe at times but I'll show you some of the multi page newsapaper ads & features I was associated
    with sometime & I'm sure I'll raise several eyebrows. I know what I'm doing,.............

    .................................................. ............

    If anyone can supply names of National sales and/or PR Managers and (could I be so lucky) E-mail addys, it would be a great help!!!

    Alan S cheers!
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  22. #22
    1000+ Posts The Gonz's Avatar
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    Go for it, Alan - No guts no glory!

    It deserves some effort and it can only raise the profile of the forum.

    Imagine - perhaps in the near future, Pug/Ren/Cit will market their cars with:

    - 60,000 km / 3 yr warranty
    - roadside assistance
    - unparalleled customer support via Froggy Forum!


  23. #23
    Sense Pug307's Avatar
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    Any update on this?

    Peugeot 307 XS 1.6
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    Rendezvous Adelaide 2005

  24. #24
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Pug307:
    Any update on this?
    Justin,

    As you know from an above post, there were some reservations expressed by some people regarding the potential impact of this on the general operation of the board.
    I tried to address those issues as best I could & as I have not received any further comment in relation to them I can only assume that they were satisfied with what was explained.
    I was hopeful of having the whole matter resolved by now but unfortunately circumstances did not permit. I intend to fix it later this week.
    For the record, a recent posting of mine on the Citroen Bulletin Board was challenged/questioned by someone who I believe could be a senior executive of a large Citroen franchise. It was a short but lively discussion that was exchanged. I feel that this item alone should prove to the distributors that the idea we have in mind will be of mutual benefit as it concerned matters often broached on this board also & gave both them & the owners a good chance to express a point of view.

    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

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