The launch this week of the Pluriel takes the number of models in the Citroen range to eight (not including estate/coupe derivatives). While UK managing director Alain Favey will not confirm the rumours, he says: “We now have the volume, so it makes sense for retailers to have larger premises. We are retailing 130,000 cars a year and with a rich model mix, which means higher profits for dealers.”
Five years ago, Citroen was retailing 76,000 cars, but after successive years of growth, the company claims to be no longer chasing volume. It is instead looking to maintain the current level without relying on discount deals by developing loyalty and residual values.
Favey claims the wider and more diversified model range will help. “We used to be a Saxo franchise before Picasso. With Pluriel there is a real buzz to the business,” he says.
The larger car parc – volumes have doubled in 10 years to exceed one million – means more used cars and a greater need for servicing and repair. The revised Approved used car scheme, unveiled last month, should boost residual values, and there are plans to grow the approved repairer network from the 230 attached to dealers to 350.