Residual values are Peugeot’s biggest conundrum – one that it is determined to solve.
For the past three years it has been rebalancing its channel mix by reducing volumes into daily rental. When it started the strategy it was selling 16,000 cars to rental; this year it will be around 5,000, according to UK managing director David Peel.
Now, since March, it has made things even simpler by refusing to being drawn into knee-jerk end-of-month registration programmes and has stopped encouraging its dealers to pre-register cars.
It’s all part of Peugeot’s aspiration to be the best generalist carmaker in the UK by 2021. Peel cites Volkswagen as the one to dethrone.
“We don’t get the result in fleet that we should with our great product. The key was to find a way to have a stronger residual value,” Peel said.
“Our channel mix strategy is starting to pay off. Our mix is 60% fleet and we have increased our share of green channel fleet and reduced our high-cost tactical fleet.”
He added: “It takes a bit of doing because market share is important to manufacturers. But we have shared our vision with Paris about what we need to do to be competitive.”
Peel cites the new 3008 as an example. Peugeot has focused on every detail of the launch, including the mix of trim, engine and colours for its own employee cars.
“In the past we have never taken this into consideration,” he said. “It would’ve been an open choice and everyone would’ve chosen the same trim and the same colour which would’ve hit the residuals from day one.
“We’ve done the same for daily rental; we’ve even stacked the options and taken less profit from the deal but the effect on residuals will benefit us in the end.”
The dealer network has also been tasked with focusing more on the SME fleet sector, as well as vans; each one now has a light commercial vehicle on display in the showroom.