Citroen UK has announced a new three-year plan to its dealer network which will include more collaboration, some online-only model derivatives and cuts to list prices.
The price reductions on new cars, from December 1, is a move to a ‘fair pricing’ policy more aligned with transaction prices. Dealers will still negotiate and agree the final price with a customer. Citroen said it’s about “being transparent and upfront with the customer.”
At the recently launched Citroen Online Store, a new range of added-value model derivatives, the ‘C-series’ cars, will be sold with a five year extended warranty and strong levels of standard equipment at a fixed price exclusively over the internet to retail customers.
The carmaker hopes this new level of transparency and simplicity will help to ensure the brand features on the consideration list of more motorists and Citroen’s market share will increase as a result.
The brand plan, entitled Citroen Advance UK, has been developed with Citroen’s national dealer council and was outlined to franchisees yesterday.
Managing director Eurig Druce told AM afterwards that it includes real focus on improving profitability for the retail network, which is likely to end 2020 at the same level with 2019’s 0.1% return on sales.
This focus will include peer-to-peer advice and best practice sharing – Druce said Citroen’s top performers are making 3% ROS and will be able to help others – plus discussions on quality of performance via Zoom and working together to identify what future “profit pools” are available.
A number of franchisees have already volunteered to assist others improve their businesses, he said.
He said there is no plan to reduce the scale of the network, which is at around 130 sales points, and he added that Citroen has nine open points which it will fill by mid-2021. Recent expansion includes Vertu Motors’ Bristol Street Motors Citroen in Worcester and the carmaker’s own dealer group, Robins & Day.
“At the heart of our Advance UK strategy are fundamental, long-lasting changes to the way we do business to serve our customers better, it is the strategy our business needs today, to thrive tomorrow,” said Druce.