Fleet News

How Peugeot aims to net extra fleet sales - face to face: Darren Smith

PEUGEOT is targeting new corporate business with an online system that will reduce the workload of fleet executives.

The 'extranet' system is an online facility allowing fleet decision-makers to check vehicle information quickly, including key cost and tax information for company car drivers.

The Peugeot extranet also includes a funding/contract hire quote section, a tax calculator and an online breakeven mileage calculator to determine whether free fuel is a cost-effective benefit.

Demonstrator vehicles can be booked and users can arrange rental accounts, rental bookings, appointments with Peugeot account managers and driver training courses.

The extranet is high on the agenda for Peugeot's new fleet marketing manager Darren Smith, along with promoting the company's other 'added value' services for fleets and turning the spotlight on its van range.

With the 807 on sale before the end of this year, there will be no key fleet car for Peugeot to introduce in the UK until the 406 replacement in 2004.

But Smith says this will give Peugeot the breathing space to build up awareness of its other services.

'I think most fleets are aware of our products,' he said, 'But we need to work harder to raise awareness of the added value elements of our service. Many people don't know there are things we can do that will help make their jobs easier.'

Smith is also keen to highlight Peugeot's range of vans, faced with the challenge that much of the line-up is jointly developed with Citroen and Fiat and similar to the rival products.

He said: 'We are aiming to have a more competitive model line-up. We already have different interiors and we want to introduce engine variants available to us that are not currently offered in the Citroen and Fiat ranges.

'We will bring in an entry-level Boxer and Partner that will be cheaper than the equivalent Citroen vans, and of course the 206 van has no equivalent in the Citroen range.

'We already offer a greater range of light commercial vehicles in the UK than any other manufacturer.'

Peugeot is also hoping to raise the profile of its special vehicle operations facility in relation to its commercial vehicle range.

Smith said: 'People have seen Peugeot police cars for many years, but there does not seem to be much awareness of what we can do to our vans. We offer a range of conversions for blue-light fleets and our dealers will be able to offer solutions to customers who need this type of vehicle.'

On a personal level, Smith has seen all aspects of Peugeot's business. Having sold cars in a Peugeot dealership for two years, he went back to university to complete a business studies course.

He secured a placement with Peugeot in after-sales and subsequently achieved sponsorship for the last year of his course. Returning to Peugeot after his degree, Smith became a district sales manager for three years before moving into head office to manage the distribution department.

After a two-year stint he spent a further three years managing dealer communications, meetings and events within the marketing department before taking on his current role in July.

  • Peugeot's fleet site is now live on www.peugeotfleetcentre.co.uk and users can register as a guest before needing to register formally.

    Darren Smith fact file

    Name: Darren Smith
    Job title: Peugeot fleet marketing manager
    Time with company: 10 years
    First car: Peugeot 309 GL
    Current car: Peugeot 406 Coupe 2.2 HDi
    Favourite film: Annie Hall
    Favourite holiday: New York
    Favourite book: Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
    Favourite song: I Believe in Miracles by the Jackson Sisters
    One fleet wish: To develop our programme to sell more vehicles into the 25-99-vehicle fleet sector

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