Citroën UK’s managing director Gary Savage has been conducting a series of meetings with the dealer network throughout March and into April to explain the new strategy for the company that has brought warnings from dealers it is driving the brand into ‘meltdown’.
In last month’s AM, one dealer warned that Citroën was attempting to move the brand away from its reputation for budget motoring too quickly and, combined with a lack of financial support from the carmaker, had led to falling customer orders.
Savage has been meeting dealers at four regional forums.
Another three are due to take place in April.
One dealer said of the Citroën initiatives: “These are positive moves from Citroën. The flexibility in our relationship is returning.
“The fact that Savage is prepared to meet dealers across the country will also prove a benefit to both parties: he will gain a true picture of network confidence. It will be a steep learning curve for him, but one of considerable value.
“The market has already picked up for Citroën because of the new levels of understanding.”
A Citroën spokesman said: “We don’t have the cheaper product, like the C2 or old C3, any more
"But we have a launch plan of six new cars over the next three years. We need to communicate our plan to dealers that we are on a journey – come with us and it will be profitable to both parties.”
Citroën is also understood to have begun providing a series of financial measures designed to support its dealers, including a customer loyalty offering worth up to £2,000 for current Citroën owners on part-exchange deals.
This will help bring down transaction prices - an issue raised in last month’s AM by a dealer who said they were too high and were preventing them from competing against other carmakers.
AM also understands that dealers have been told that if they failed to hit February targets they were able to make up the difference in March and still be in line for first quarter bonuses.
“We recognise that we need to support dealers financially and have clarified our offers,” Citroën said.