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Citroen reassures dealers

Citroen UK’s managing director Gary Savage is conducting a series of meetings with the dealer network to explain the company's new strategy after warnings from dealers it is driving the brand into ‘meltdown’.

Last month, one dealer told AM that Citroen 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 customers orders.

Savage has already met dealers at four regional forums.

Another three are due to take place this month.

One dealer said of the Citroen initiatives: “These are positive moves from Citroen. The flexibility in our relationship is returning.

“The fact 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 Citroen because of the new levels of understanding.”

A Citroen spokesman said: “We don’t have the cheaper product anymore, like the C2 or old C3. 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.”

Citroen 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 Citroen owners on part-exchange deals.

This will help bring down transaction prices - an issue raised in last month’s AM by one dealer who said they were too high and were preventing dealers from competing against other manufacturers.

AM also understands dealers have been told that if they failed to hit February targets they would be able to make up the difference this month and still be in-line to receive first quarter bonuses.

“We recognise we need to support dealers financially and have clarified our offers,” Citroen said.

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