An all-embracing rental system is set to play a key role in helping Peugeot persuade more motorists to consider the advantages of electric cars.
MU, the unique programme that makes cycles, motor scooters, cars and light commercial vehicles available on short-term rental from dealership forecourts, is set for a dramatic expansion, AM can reveal.
Only 10 months after pilot projects got underway at Peugeot-owned sites in north London and Bristol, MU is due to be rolled out in four more locations in the next few weeks.
Other Robins & Day outlets in Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow are in line to be joining the programme that allows models from most of the French carmaker’s product ranges to be used for as little as an hour at a time.
By the end of June, the MU franchise will also be on offer at the first non-company site - in Stockton-on-Tees at one of the three dealerships operated by Simon Bailes.
“The Stockton dealership is one of the 22 outlets set up for our iON electric model and the fact that this significant new city car will be available for just £30 for half a day or £45 for a whole day should prove to be of great interest to customers.
“More motorists are considering electric transport as an alternative to the ever-rising cost of traditional mobility in urban areas and the MU scheme means they can now afford to try it out.
“Driving an electric car is different, of course, and we think many people are keen to have the experience and find out for themselves.
"MU has the potential of making this a win-win for our dealers because the interest being shown in this form of transport raises the prospect of a big rise in showroom traffic,” Peugeot communications director Andrew Didlick told AM.
Explained programme manager Richard Gavan: “Our primary focus is to link MU with the iON network and fill in some gaps around the country with dealers who may already be operating Peugeot car and van rental.
" That operates in the local business market for short tem loans, whereas MU is specifically intended for retail rentals.
"The cost of entry is low – in the main, it relates only to the purchase of scooters and bikes because the dealers already have everything else they need and we look after all the marketing and point of sale material.
“MU is a pan-European programme and we’re delighted that it is developing faster in the UK than other markets. The fact that anyone can try out an iON is a first and it should help break down a lot of barriers.
"But this is only one car in our range, of course - we can offer anything up to a 3.5-tonne van to private customers and we think the opportunity to use an RCZ for the weekend for just £140 is a real bargain.
“We think more dealers will soon be seeing how well the MU franchise works and be approaching us about becoming part of the new network.”