Fiat Professional is looking to pair more of its van dealer network with Iveco and DAF truck dealers which will mean some car dealers will lose the commercial franchise.
Sebastiano Fedrigo, director of Fiat Professional UK, told AM: “We’re looking to expand the professionalism throughout the network and partnering up with commercial specialists is a good way of doing that. We won’t be 100% commercial; some car dealers will keep the Fiat Professional partnership.”
There are 130 Fiat Professional dealers in the UK and currently 35 are twinned with Iveco and DAF dealers. Fedrigo would not say what percentage of the network he would like to be commercial only.
He said: “Fiat Professional has made significant strides forward in providing fleet support and back-up through its dealer network and is now enjoying growing success in this important area of the market.
“I think the technology included on our models is a place we can differentiate ourselves from the competition.”
Fedrigo said he would not lose retail customers by splitting the network.
He said: “Retail selling is much more reactive, but we want to keep both sides; we’ll never be 100% paired with commercial dealers.”
Fiat Professional has now started a call centre marketing initiative which will see 70,000 potential customers contacted and persuaded to come in for a test drive.
Fedrigo said: “It will be targeted so we’re not going to be disturbing them from their daily jobs, but it’ll be a first contact and we’ll be flexible.
“We’re piloting the scheme with 12 dealers to start with.”