Supply issues an opportunity for DS
21 February 2022
Author: Martyn Collins
Protected production has already equalled more fleet wins for DS.
UK managing director Jules Tilstone revealed in a round table discussion how DS was doing in the UK following the implementation of its Elevation 2021 plan. He explained that supply issues, due to the semiconductor crisis, were in fact a positive for the Stellantis premium brand.
He told Business Car that DS production for the UK was relatively protected, which is a huge opportunity for them in the fleet market. "As some of our competitors can't supply new cars until Q4 at the earliest, we've won one or two deals off the back of that. One of those,was where we were able to supply DS7s within two or three months. We can get the production if we have the orders. It's a big acceleration opportunity for the brand, not only with the new DS4 but with the other models as well."
Tilstone explained that more recently the fleet/retail split for DS has been more fleet biased: "If we look at last year, we were around 70/30 in favour of fleet - but it grew across the year. One of the areas we've been focusing on is network channels. So, take out national fleet - what is the proportion of orders that we're taking in the network channels? We want the network to be taking retail, B2B and SME at 50% and it's not where we've been historically. Across Q4, the network represents 50% of our orders and in January this year, they represented more than 50% of our orders. So, we're moving in the right direction because there's some fleet volume going through in different months."
The now combined Stellantis fleet team has access to what we were told was a huge database between the brands, with Tilstone telling us there are a lot of opportunities for DS to assist filling the spots that competitors can't. This has already been proven by fleet wins from other established brands.
Elsewhere, Tilstone revealed DS's plans to expand the 'Only You' privilege club, to leverage more brand advocacy from people who buy their products via the MyDS App, inviting DS customers and their friends to experience privilege events. Most recently, a trip last year to the Gherkin in London to have lunch and watch the London Formula E race, which DS participates in.
These experiences are open to DS corporate customers, with Tilstone revealing plans to launch a 'Welcome Pack' for new owners. He said: "We're just about to launch a Welcome Pack, with information in each of the cars that's delivered, whether it's lease company, business customer or end customer. It will alert the driver to what they can sign up to and by signing up for the MyDS App - that's your access point for
It will be interesting to see how this works and if it reaches corporate buyers on what is an important handover point for their cars. It was also revealed that current DS order lead times are averaging three months - apart from the DS9, which comes from China and is currently taking six months.