Renault seeks to double customer base by 2017
11 February 2016
Three new area managers for business development are being combined with a 100% increase in the number of fleet and LCV specialist Pro+ dealers as Renault seeks to double its customer base over the next 18 months.
Head of fleet sales operations and remarketing Mark Dickens said the firm was entering a "conquest" phase, with the launch of the new Kadjar crossover late last year and the new Megane and Scenic coming during 2016.
The firm is investing £2m in an additional 70 Kadjar demonstration vehicles, compared with its previous fleet of 178 cars, and Dickens pledged the new Megane would see similar, significant investment.
Renault has created three new area manager business development roles, which have been taken by Simon Hubbard, Mark Waite and Simon Williams.
"We are a conquest brand and the only way to do that is through key accounts, and the objective for the three new roles is to double our customer base by 2017," said Dickens.
The expansion in Pro+ dealers, those with the specialist skills, training and investment to specifically target local business, means Renault will this year grow from 40 to 79 Pro+ sites.
The additional 39 already employ a full-time fleet specialist, but will now make the step up in investment required to become fully fledged business specialists. The original 39 dealers, recently expanded to 40, were chosen for being able to manage 400 business sales of cars and vans per year in their territory, although that has been relaxed to what Renault describes as the dealer's "break-even" point of 150 units with the new influx. "It's all part of making us easy to do business with," said Dickens.
Pro+ dealers sign up to a 14-point code, including commitments such as a reception area reserved for business customers, extended opening hours, servicing within eight hours without an appointment, and finance designed to meet business customers' needs, and Dickens claimed that the code helps net new business: "It's a key USP for Renault. We commit to customers on each of the 14 points, and deliver them each time customers deal with our business. We win business off the back of this; if we are neck and neck with other brands then this wins it."
Dickens said the new Megane is the next crucial product, arriving in five-door hatch form in the summer, with a Sports Tourer estate following in the autumn. "The Megane will definitely be a conquest car for us because of where we have come down to," he commented. "Now we have got to get back to where we were. I'm not so bold as to say we can be the market leader, but we have got to get back to where we were.