Citroën DS3 Changing perceptions
The Kinsey Report has, over the years, become an accurate barometer for measuring parts pricing, and has helped Citroën steadily improve its overall ownership value proposition.
In the 2012 Report, parts across three broad categories and embracing 34 individual items were examined.
Competing in the hotly-contested Supermini category for modern B-segment cars, the DS3 1.6 VTi emerged with figures which made rival brands sit up and take note.
Not only was its parts basket comfortably the lowest as a percentage of the retail price of the car (22.92 percent) but the total Rand cost of all items was the third lowest in the group of 11 popular vehicles.
The Citroën fared particularly well in the section for ‘crash’ parts – an area where there is still a perception that the brand is expensive.
For example, it had the cheapest headlight, air conditioner condenser and radiator of all – items often damaged in a frontal collision. The bonnet was also very competitively priced, while at the other end of the car, the tail light assembly, was the second cheapest of all.
Says Citroën’s Parts General Manager, Brian Smithson: “Parts pricing is an area which we continue to focus on, and our long-term programme to improve both parts pricing and parts availability is bearing fruit. Long term ownership happiness can only be achieved by taking this kind of holistic approach and we are committed to continue making strides in this regard.”
Since 2010 the Kinsey Report has revealed that Citroën parts pricing has improved dramatically and that parts are competitively priced despite a perception to the contrary.
“The Kinsey Report has certainly brought a lot of things into sharp focus for us, and we have acted on this information. At the same time, our parent company in France is using sophisticated computer programming to drill right down into the manufacturing costs of items which come from international suppliers, to make sure we get the best possible deal from them” says Brian.
“But pricing is only a portion of the story. Car ownership is an essential for economically active people in this country, so opening the pipeline to ensure a faster flow is an essential part of a strategy to provide a holistic experience when purchasing a Citroën.
With the dealer network growing steadily, more skilled staff being employed, parts pricing being addressed and parts availability improving steadily, there is no longer a logical barrier to owning a Citroën.
Concludes Citroën South Africa’s MD Didier Gerard: “It is three years since our company officially started trading and a complete structure is now in place to deliver quality at all levels.
Quality is what changes perceptions, and we certainly have that in terms of our product range. We are on track to improve ‘quality’ in terms of aftersales, which will reap the benefits in terms of our image.”