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Eight questions to... Andy Robson, network development director, Groupe PSA

Andy Robson, network development director, Groupe PSA

What are the main responsibilities of your role?

My key responsibilities are to ensure all the brands within Groupe PSA – Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroën and DS Automobiles – provide an excellent investment opportunity to both the current and new franchise investors.

Ensure that all open points are closed and, where required, support and manage poor performing businesses to improve or exit the business. 

Network development is the custodian of the franchise contract and is key to building strong relationships with network investors.

The profitability of the franchise is key to building a strong network that can deliver industry benchmark customer satisfaction and podium sales.

A really interesting and potentially challenging part of my role is planning the future network. All stakeholders are involved in this process.

The representation over the last 50 years has not really changed; however with the huge changes that approach the motor industry it is key to make sure the network adapts and is ready.

 

What are the most significant challenges ahead in your field of work?

The key challenge is how the brands and its network adapt to the changing behaviours and requirements of our customers, and how both brand and dealer can work together to deliver a simple and easy way to do business. 

An obvious example is the digital journey and how that dovetails when the customer wants to see, test drive and ultimately pick up their new vehicle from
the dealership.

This one challenge presents many questions if you assume a major growth in online sales. Will customers travel further? What facilities are required on site? Do you need the traditional sales executive? Does the business model change for the dealer? 

Another key challenge is the future legislative impacts and the recent announcement of banning diesel sales in Bristol again will mean the network structure will need to adapt.

 

How might these challenges be overcome?

A strong and open relationship with the dealer network is critical to ensure we both can adapt to meet the challenges ahead.

I am very proud of the relationship we hold with the network and believe working together will enable us to meet the future challenges and improve our competitive advantage. 

 

What attracted you to this area of expertise?

Network development spans all areas of the business, both at dealers and internally.

This appealed to me as there isn’t another area so broad across the business, and a key part of this role is working with our partners and new investors which is fun, challenging and very rewarding.

My career started with Vauxhall in 1985 where I joined as a business trainee in the marketing department.

Over the last 33 years I have worked across all key departments within sales and marketing from retail and fleet sales field roles, running Network Q to national retail sales manager.

I was appointed aftersales director for Vauxhall Motors in 2013 and network development director for Vauxhall in 2018. I moved to Groupe PSA in July.

 

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your career, and how do you now make use of it?

The most important thing is to recognise that although our business is the sale of vehicles, service and parts, we are really in the people business.

We offer the same opportunity to many individual and group investors across the UK and the key difference between the top 25% and the bottom 25% are the people who operate the business.

So for me it is to make sure we are aligned and following in the same direction with our partners.

Provide the very best support to enable our dealers deliver the best in class training for their staff who in turn deliver podium results for all Groupe PSA brands. 

 

And three quick-fire questions...

What drives you?

Delivering results, improving the performance and growing the business.

What’s your favourite app?

I recently visited New York and got the MY MTA. It tells you the nearest underground station and the time the next train was due. It also covered the same information for bus routes. 

How do you relax?

I enjoy listening to music, going to the cinema and watching my kids play lacrosse and rugby.

 



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