Citroën is refreshing its corporate fleet programme, hoping to attract company-car drivers with new low-CO2 models and value for money and by leveraging the scale of the Stellantis line-up, according to new UK MD Greg Taylor.
The initiative will aim to replicate some of the French manufacturer’s success with vans with its passenger car line-up, Taylor said.
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), Citroën accounted for a 7.0% share of the UK’s van market during 2022, with 19,714 registrations, compared with just 1.8% of the UK's car market, with 28,487.
“We need to make more of the success that we have on the van side of the business to bolster the impact that the cars have in [the corporate fleet] sector,” Taylor explained.
“From a leasing perspective or a big corporate perspective, that’s where there’s quite a big opportunity for Citroën. We don’t perform particularly well, but the benefit we have being part of Stellantis – and we have got to leverage that – is by having a huge breadth of brands, we have a good opportunity to get into organisations [we] might not otherwise get into.”
Spearheaded by the Citroën C5 X and Citroën C5 Aircross, which are both available as plug-in hybrids, Citroën positions itself as a value-led proposition within that portfolio, underpinned by low list prices, attractive whole-life costs and a wide choice of powertrains.
Taylor said Citroën had spent the past 18 months working to improve residual values, which are an important foundation of competitive lease rates. Planned expansion in the rental and subscription sectors during 2023 will be closely controlled to protect those values going forward.
The challenge, he said, is raising awareness among fleet decision-makers and ensuring that vehicles are included on company-car choice lists, and Citroën’s network of Business Centre dealerships will be vital in that.
Network initiatives haven’t been finalised yet, but training is likely to focus on briefing sales executives about the opportunities with fleets and drivers, targeting the same level of customer service as with retail buyers.
“We are competitive, but we're not getting the cut-through at the moment," said Taylor. "I think Citroën has a bit of a problem whereby people aren't aware of just how good the product is now.
“My job is to make sure that people are coming into the dealership and they're experiencing Citroën, because Citroën is a brand that can over-deliver once someone gets in the car.”