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Mixed bag for Renault dealers on aftersales

Renault believes its move to extend warranties to three years combined with a two-year/18,000-mile servicing interval will arm dealers with the necessary tools to raise sales volumes.

The action – including a three-year roadside assistance programme to tie motorists to the dealer network – is likely to slash overall running costs and prove particularly attractive to fleets. Renault claimed the new package could mean “two years' free motoring” for buyers.

Benoit Marzloff, Renault UK managing director, said: “The introduction of extended service intervals and longer warranties means that a customer who changes their car every two years may never have to spend one penny on their Renault. The fuel in the tank, tax disc on the windscreen and insurance certificate could be the only motoring costs.”

A Renault spokesman denied suggestions that the extended servicing intervals – which apply to all models except the two sport petrol engines and the 1.9D 65bhp and Master 2.8dTi diesel units – could lower dealers' aftersales profits.

“We built into the servicing scheme a free safety check after 9,000 miles, so dealers will still see their customers for a once-over on the car,” he said.

“We have also developed a brand programme to talk about design and the improving quality of our cars. This will raise Renault's profile and will have a halo effect of raising the profile of our dealer network.”

The spokesman claimed dealers “welcomed” the move as it would “make their job of selling cars easier”.

Dealers, who in recent years have targeted aftersales as the more profitable area of the business, could see a swing back to retailing profits through the new strategy.

“I see it being a 50:50 split,” said the spokesman. “The schemes may put more emphasis on profits from cars, but we have other programmes, for example Renault Minute, which encourages dealers to service other makes of car and older models.”

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