Supplies of the next new car from Citroen are to be rationed as part of dramatic moves to widen the showroom appeal of the brand.
In a remarkable about-turn from the money-back incentives that gave it spectacular growth during the last decade, Citroen UK is imposing strict limits on the number of DS3 models it will make available to dealers over the next 12 months.
As AM reported last week, Citroen dealers are upset at the way the company's incentives programme.
Only 5,500 examples of the radical three-door model inspired by the iconic DS of the 1950s are earmarked for the UK market this year.
“This car will give us a point of differentiation. It has galvanised attitudes and enthusiasm within the company because it has amazing dynamics as well as a terrific appearance.
“I’m confident we will have more customers than cars, so it marks a significant turnaround for the network, which has always sold from physical stock. As we now hold significantly less stock, we are moving to selling from the pipeline and our network is now placing the highest level of customer orders in Europe," managing director Gary Savage told AM.
“This is good for profitability – dealers are enjoying an average £100,000 additional profit compared with 12 months ago and this new car will move the game on. DS3 models will always be on order, rather than being sold from stock."
Speaking at the media launch of the model in Paris, he said allocations at each of the company’s 200 outlets would be based on volume performance.
“We have the opportunity to do this because we’re so confident that demand will be greater than supply. We meet an enormous amount of cynicism when we talk about moving away from cash-back trading, but DS3 demonstrates how we are changing our behaviour – and that of our network – to reshape the perception of our brand,” he said.