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Citroën working groups tackle the key issues

Citroën has set up three working groups with its National Dealer Council to identify new ways in which its retail network can improve their performance.

The groups, established during an NDC meeting in April, meet twice a month and have three to five dealers plus the same number of Citroën representatives in each. The three topics are: customer experience, looking at everything from how dealers welcome the customer to follow-up; volumes, including improving sales and profits; and aftersales.

“We want to find new ideas and improve the way we work together,” Citroën UK managing director Xavier Duchemin told AM.

“It’s a clever way to tackle the issues by working in smaller groups.”

The working groups will report their findings to the NDC in September.

Citroën sales volumes are on target to rise 5-10% on 2006 on the back of C4 Picasso, the new C-Crosser and Relay. Duchemin predicts 125,000-130,000 total units for cars and vans and a 5% share of the car market for the first time since 2002.

Although official figures show year-to-date sales up 5.4%, Duchemin claims pre-orders are up by 10% year-on-year, buoyed by the C4 Picasso which has a waiting list of up to three months.

He also points to Citroën’s improved performance in the JD Power survey, where it has risen 17 places to No 21 and its sixth place in the What Car? reliability test.

Sales growth has helped retailers to improve profits. While average return on sales falls just short of the 1% target, network profits are up almost 5% year-on-year.

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