DS Automobiles has revealed that its franchised car dealerships will offer vehicle rental from this autumn as it revealed more details of its Only You customer service offering.
A key element of Only You is that customers can decide if they want to go to a DS dealership or DS goes to them on their terms.
Part of the franchise standards for DS, which is now seperate to Citroen, will mean dealers have to provide delivery of any purchased vehicle to a customer’s chosen location, collection and delivery for servicing and a rental service.
DS has set up an online portal for customers that can be accessed through the My DS app, online or through a hotline. This will be available for customers to ask any car or service related questions they might have.
Only You will also facilitate rental of DS vehicles for a few days or even for a few hours. Customers will be able to rent a DS whether it is for a one-off event, a last-minute trip or a weekend away.
All DS sales come with 24/7 roadside assistance that includes a courtesy car loan and onward travel cover.
DS valet and service
DS dealers will offer a home delivery service. When the order for a new car is placed, there is the paid-option to have it delivered to the customer’s home, place of work or chosen location.
The new car will be prepared centrally and delivered in an Only You DS transporter on an agreed date and time to the chosen location.
There they will also be met by the DS “expert advisor”, who will hand over the car and keys, explain the vehicle features and officiate with any necessary paperwork in order to complete the sale and handover.
Used DS sales, servicing and test drives will also be available with the valet option. DS piloted offering test drives from home in London, but has now expanded the service to Greater Manchester and is planning to offer it in Birmginham too.
A spokesman for DS said the fact customers may not visit the showroom will not be a barrier to convince other dealer groups to invest in Stores and Salons (what DS calls its showrooms).
He said: “Whenever the DS customer will visit the showroom or not, he will always be serviced by a DS dealer.
“Only You is offering the possibility to the customer to go the DS outlet or to let the DS outlet representative go to him through a set of services such as DS Valet. What matters is that the customer always has the freedom of choice.
“DS Only You is in no way a barrier to invest in the franchise, it is precisely the opposite. It represents a strong asset to attract new customers to the brand and its dealers, and secure a long term relationship.”
DS Club Privilege
DS customers will get access to Club Privilege that will give them special access to events, private concerts, exhibition openings, cookery classes with Michelin-starred chefs and classes with craftsmen.
There will be six categories that form the basis of Club Privilege - gourmet, travel, leisure, shopping and regional monthly privileges.
Mark Blundell, DS Automobiles UK marketing director, said: “From the outset we have ambitions to attract customers to our forthcoming exceptional products through a quickly expanding new and dedicated to DS network, but crucially with a unique customer experience.
“Some of our competitors offer some of these features, but none encompassing them all, with this level of engagement and none with the spectrum of appeal that we envisage.
“Our DS customers will enjoy great features and facilities than is the norm, such is our ambition for being avant-garde and a premium brand with enhanced customer services.”
DS network expansion
DS officially struck out as its own franchise from Citroen on July 1 this year. There are currently 25 dealerships in the UK and DS has plans to double the network to 50 next year.
Currently seven of the 25 dealers that have been granted the DS franchise contract are those from Robins and Day (the Groupe PSA manufacturer-owned franchise group), while the remainder are from those that already had the Citroёn (and combined DS Automobiles) franchise.
Although, a spokesman for DS said the brand is in talks with other dealer groups about taking on the franchise and it wanted to give those in its retail network the first opportunity.
Those taking on the franchise will have to invest in either a DS Store or DS Salon outlet.