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Peugeot looks to change brand perception

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Peugeot is counting on its 3008 diesel hybrid to change fleet managers’ perception of the brand.

The Hybrid4, which was available to drive at Company Car in Action ahead of its launch in Q4 this year, is the world’s first full diesel hybrid and is “a really unique selling point for Peugeot,” according to Phil Robson director of fleet and used vehicle operations at Peugeot.

Robson pointed out that the hybrid technology is transferrable and will be rolled out across the range in due course.

“Our key focus is getting the diesel hybrid message out and the fact that it’s a world first,” he said.

“That’s going to give us a lot of noise in the fleet market which will hopefully filter across the range and get people to consider Peugeot far more than maybe they would have done 12 months ago.”

Brand perception is already changing, according to Robson - albeit more slowly than he would like.

“Changing people’s perception in a positive way is a slow grind,” he said. “Undoubtedly 3008, 5008 and RCZ has raised Peugeot’s profile. And 508, particularly for the fleet sector, has really come in and blown a lot of people away.”

Besides new product, Peugeot is looking to change perception and improve residual values by reducing volumes in the national daily rental market – so far this year volumes have shrunk by 60-65%.

“For probably the first time in 15 years at Peugeot market share is not the be all and end,” Robson said. “Quality is more important.”

Besides working with leasing companies and developing long standing relationships with major fleets, Peugeot is aiming to attract SMEs.

“We’ve put a lot of tools in place to really assist dealers so that it’s Peugeot and the dealer talking to local businesses,” Robson said. “We’ve introduced the Peugeot appointment programme where we book high quality appointments on behalf of our dealers.

“We’ve put an extra eight people in the fleet team and they are on hand to support dealers with those appointments.”

Four of the eight employees were brought in to replace Peugeot’s business centre in January last year.

“When you speak to someone at Peugeot now they are not agency staff they are Peugeot employees and that’s really improved the quality of appointments we’re making with prospects as well as existing customers,” Robson added.

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