Citroën is performing well in the UK, where brand sales are positive and outperforming the market, with the Berlingo van leading sales in its segment. After years of trying to control its residual values, the brand intends to rely on fleet sales to continue its growth while protecting the value of its vehicles.
Greg Taylor's job is to skilfully manage sales in order to increase sales to fleets, an important market in which the brand is well placed with its various low-emission models. The strategy is to build on the brand's strengths by replicating the model that the brand has applied to utilities, which has allowed it to achieve a market share of 7%, compared with only 1.8% for passenger cars.
Sales to corporate fleets are important for increasing sales, and the brand has the capacity to increase them with an efficient range that offers electrified models in almost all segments.
According to Greg Taylor, Citroën can either "leverage more of the success we have on the van side of the business to increase the impact of cars in the fleet business. From a leasing perspective or from a big business perspective, that's where there's a pretty big opportunity for Citroën. We're not doing particularly well, but the advantage of being part of Stellantis - and we have to take advantage of it - is that by having a broad range of brands, we have a good opportunity to get into organisations that we couldn't otherwise get into.
To succeed in this endeavour and develop its sales, Citroën will rely on the C5 Aircross and C5 X, both of which have two plug-in hybrid engines of 180 and 225 hp, and on positioning the brand as a value proposition within this portfolio, supported by low list prices, attractive lifetime costs and a wide choice of powertrains.
Citroën will therefore seek to develop its sales without reducing the residual value of these vehicles, which it has been monitoring for 18 months and which has clearly recovered. The challenge will therefore be to "raise awareness among fleet decision-makers and ensure that the vehicles are included in the company car selection lists, and the Citroën Business Centre dealer network will be essential in this respect", according to Greg Taylor.
Citroën is confident of achieving this goal, although the new UK boss is clear: "We are competitive, but we are not making the breakthrough at the moment. I think Citroën has a bit of a problem with people not being aware of the current quality of the product. My job is to make sure that people come into the dealership and experience Citroën, because Citroën is a brand that can be very persuasive once you get in the car".