ENGLISH – Interview Guillaume Couzy : “We have a leadership objective with the 208 !”

Guillaume Couzy, director of Peugeot Commerce France, reveals Peugeot’s desire to bring the 208 to the top of the French market !

You launch the new 208s in your network a few weeks after the Clio, your long-time competitor. Do you have a special plan in place ?
Guillaume Couzy: “We are in head-on competition with the Clio and it is logical that we measure our success by the yardstick of our main competitor ! But to say that we have a special plan would not be true, first because it is not the best way to work, nor the best message to convey to teams. What is certain is that with the 208 we have a “leadership” objective, with the ambition that it will change the game. So we didn’t build our 208 launch system with Renault in mind. But we know that we are obviously eagerly awaited and even before we have launched it, we are seeing levels of face-to-face discounts that are already quite high. We will not play that game.”

Will the previous 208 – the A91 project – still be available at the entry level ?
G.C.: “No, we will not maintain the current generation. However, we still have stocks, so you will see registrations until the end of the year. We have really decided to focus all our efforts on the new generation.”

The launches of 208 and 2008 (above) are almost concurrent, isn’t that too heavy for the network ?
G.C.: “There will be four months between the two commercial launches, so yes, it’s very short and not necessarily the ideal situation, because it would ideally take six months. A launch is a heavy device to build with teams and many hours of network training. In 2020, with 208 and 2008, we will renew our offer with two products that we consider promising. Over the period 2017 – 2019, we gained 1.5% market share in France, which is rather a big performance in this mature market, and we will open a new period of growth in 2020 and start gaining market share again significantly.

How does the formation of the dealers network work in practice ?
G.C.: “We are in the middle of it right now ! That’s six full weeks and 6,000 people involved. 250 sales advisors, service advisors, managers or agents pass by every day and therefore, all this lasts six full weeks and will end on October 15. This is huge !”

This training is dedicated to the 208 or only to the electric version (above) for which the customer must learn to drive again !
G.C.: “It is dedicated to all 208, but almost 70% of the time is allocated to the e-208 and in particular to the eco-electricity system and the transformation that it represents for the entire network. I am convinced that it is rewarding for all these people. This training gives them a new role as advisors to the client.”

Your competitors now offer dynamic SUVs with a coupe-like silhouette. The network wants you to do it ?
G.C.: “No, today there is no expression of such a need for the network, neither internally. The silhouette reduction strategy implemented is yielding good results. We are the only brand in France to place four vehicles in the top ten in the market. We have succeeded in designing fewer silhouettes with higher volumes. This rationalization of the ranges makes it possible to focus the creative energies of everyone (designers, engineers, etc.) on fewer vehicles, but with products with distinctive design in the main market segments.”

You are still missing an image vehicle as before, above, the RCZ coupe !
G.C.: “Certainly, the RCZ coupe has made a lot of noise, but has it brought us a lot of customers? On the other hand, focusing our energies on a product such as the 3008 in a very popular segment is much more promising in terms of images.”

Is the dealers network ready to market the 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered, or even a range dedicated to sports and virtuous vehicles?
G.C.: “There is a certain tradition of the network to sell GTI sports cars, with good scores! Is there a PSE range in preparation? It is rather to Jean-Philippe Imparato (Peugeot brand manager) to answer, but seen from his words, the answer seems positive! He clearly explained that we are starting with the 508 and working on other solutions. The idea remains to offer vehicles that are a little exceptional in performance and driving pleasure, while remaining virtuous.”

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