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Renault switch targets business customers

Renault is looking to make a new assault on the commercial vehicle market, after an overhaul of the way it approaches business customers.

The French brand hopes to cash in on an opportunity for conversions and other specialist vehicles.

It has changed the emphasis of its corporate sales unit since the beginning of the year.

It is now focusing on the education of local dealerships rather than the direct selling approach.

Keith Hawes, Renault’s director of fleet and CV operations, said: “Our corporate sales staff now spend 80% of their time with dealers, helping them to focus their local sales activity.

“The team has the skill and expertise to help dealers not previously involved in local business sales.

“The objective is to have every dealer with a local business specialist and a local van specialist, with training in things like taxation and finance packages so they can talk to customers with some authority and recommend the best method of acquisition.”

Hawes said Renault’s corporate sales team has gone from a direct selling role to an “enabling” role this year, although the key account team is still focusing on larger fleet customers.

Hawes said the moves were a step in the right direction, but he had further plans.

“We have just gone through a fairly radical change – a complete change in the way we do business, and there is a period of time that we need to settle.

“We are trying to change the culture of the dealer network.

“But there is a tremendous opportunity for conversions in vans.

“We have put a team together specialising in developing the commercial vehicles product.

“There is more work to be done in developing the dealer network so they can all be involved in selling LCVs, especially in the used area, because that is a very profitable part of the business.”

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