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Dealers hit out at 107

Public acceptance of the new Peugeot 107 and 1007 city cars has been lower than expected despite strong television and print advertising, several Peugeot dealers have told AM.

They believe that unless the French car manufacturer boosts its marketing on both models or introduces deals to increase showroom footfall, it is unlikely to hit its sales targets.

Peugeot aims to sell 7,000 107s this year, but first-month sales (July) only reached 733. And sales of the 1007, launched the same month, were 593 units. The network will need to ramp up volumes substantially with the new ‘55’ registration plate.

One sales manager told AM: “They’re just not moving. We can’t get the customer interested in them, they can’t compete because there are far better products out there like the new Suzuki Swift.”

And the dealer principal of another large Peugeot site claims the carmaker has warned the 340-strong network that unless sales pick up soon, each dealership will have to take the 107 as courtesy cars.

“We’re facing an uphill struggle. And the dealer margin is less than £140 per car so there’s not a lot we can do about it,” he says.

Dealers are only receiving a few examples of each model per month, making any hope of shifting volume unrealistic. Peugeot says allocations will be increased in the next few months. It rejects the suggestion that its marketing is insufficient and claims the 107 is outselling its Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo siblings.

“The way we are marketing these cars is very targeted. In one way it is pleasing that the dealers are not seeing it, because it is not targeted at them,” says director of public relations, Andrew Didlick.

The 107’s campaign uses the internet and radio stations to reach the target younger audience, and at 90 seconds in duration, the 1007’s TV advert is the longest Peugeot has done, says Didlick. Both cars have also been publicized in the national press and motoring magazines, and dealers are being encouraged to provide 24-hour test drives of the 1007.

Next year, Peugeot expects to sell 15,000 units of the 1007 and 13,000 of the 107. But dealers’ confidence has been hit by the slow-down in the retail market (down almost 11%), felt particularly in the small car segment.

In addition, a host of new entrants from rival brands has increased competition.

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