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Peugeot and Citroen work to reduce customer confusion

By Andy Enright, 03 Oct 2018 Paris Motor Show

Peugeot and Citroen work to reduce customer confusion

Models are being cut, dealers combined

PEUGEOT and Citroen Australia have taken a number of steps to reduce the complexity of their respective ranges Down Under.

“The requirement for us is being laser-focused on what the market requires and what we can deliver to satisfy that demand. It's more from less,” explains Tyson Bowen, spokesman for Peugeot Citroen Australia.

“Over its early life, there were about 23 different variants of 308 across drivetrains, trim levels, and bodystyles. That was for a car that enjoyed a 0.1% market share.

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“The goal is to offer a more focused model line-up that delivers better value, with drivetrains more appropriate to local customers. The path to purchase must be a lot easier to understand, both for customers and dealers.”

In addition, new models which are not envisaged to play a significant role in local sales growth are being re-assessed. The latest C4 Cactus is one such example.

Since being recast in second generation guise as a hatch rather than a compact SUV, the Cactus now finds itself in a far more crowded corner of the market, and one in which the local importers feel it may struggle to distinguish itself and are reassessing its role in the local lineup.

With the C3 Aircross, due in Q1 next year, set to fulfil the compact SUV brief, Citroen looks to have that more profitable sector covered, not to mention a more readily understandable upgrade path to new C5 Aircross to boot.

Read next: 2018 Peugeot 3008 GT-Line long-term review, part four

PSA Australia has spent the last year streamlining its back office processes after the switch in local distribution from Sime Darby to Inchcape, and the first tangible sign of that process is a rationalisation of the dealer network.

Whereas there were 74 Citroen and Peugeot dealers sites at the time of Inchcape's acquisition of distribution. Today that number stands at 34 co-branded Peugeot and Citroen for sales and service.

While there are obvious cost-saving benefits of doing so, it puts an increased focus on Peugeot and Citroen models complementing rather than competing against each other.

“It's about being more efficient all the way across the board,” said Bowen. “Combined, we're stronger.”