Peugeot is in the process of rolling out business sales training to its entire UK network after setting its sights on increased sales beyond is 70 specialist centres.
The French brand is adding focus to van sales and SME business opportunities across its network two years after cutting is its specialist business sales centres – which specialise in fleet and commercial sales – from 90 to 60.
As well as bringing the number of specialist centres back up in 2017, manufacturer training and online webinars will seek to spread knowledge of van and small fleet sales, according to Louise Neilson, head of business sales, Peugeot UK.
Just three months into her new posting, Neilson is embracing a trend which has seen Peugeot’s UK van sales grow by 50% in 2013, more than 20% in 2014 and 10% in 2015.
This year, Peugeot’s van sales were up 10.61% to 2,400 in April and when AM spoke to Neilson at last month’s Commercial Vehicle Show she was keen to capitalise on the ongoing pattern of growth.
She said: “We have increased our business centre network by 30% this year. We have seen 20 business centres brought on board to make a total of 70 and I have been working with Robins and Day and heavily involved in building their business centre network.
“This year we are very focused on retail dealerships who want to talk to people about vans. We want to be able to sell anyone that walks into our network a van, and do that confidently. So far this year, 93% of our network has contributed to the brand’s van sales.
“Specialist business centres have received van training from my team at Peugeot’s UK headquarters in Coventry and our non-business centres have been able to benefit from a newly developed online training package specially produced to support their operation.”
Each of Peugeot’s specialist business centres currently has a dedicated van professional on site, but Peugeot’s plans for 2017 will see a dedicated member of staff across the group’s 208-strong network.
Neilson said that business sales were now a “large part of Peugeot’s impact on the market”. She added: “I think we are a strong player in the market from an exposure point of view and I want to make more of the amount of staff in our dealerships who can talk knowledgably to our B2B customers.
“I think we will be a unique proposition in that respect and that level of know-how is key to giving customers peace of mind, ensuring return aftersales custom and realising the potential of SMEs local to our retailers.”
Neilson revealed that all Peugeot retailers now have to include a commercial vehicle within their showroom displays.
She said that retailers have not been compelled to make material changes to their facilities or workshops as Peugeot has traditionally been a brand associated with van-based vehicles, including motorhomes.
“We think vans and business sales continue to be an area where we can realise incremental sales growth,” she said.