Our latest instalment of "Questions to the industry" sees Citroën SA answer your questions. Here's what they had to say.
Several readers are disgusted by your apparent lack of service delivery, with many fed up to the point where they have stated that they will not be buying another Citroën again. Can you, as a fringe importer, really afford to lose customers, and what is being done to retain those not yet lost to more "mainstream" car brands. Are there any plans to increase the dealer network? And what is being done or planned to ease the pressure on existing dealerships?
We have recently restructured our customer relations department and it now reports directly to our CEO. This shows our determination to providing our customers with exceptional service delivery and the importance we place on this. Naturally, not everyone will be 100% satisfied with all aspects of their experience with our network but we are continually improving our service delivery.
Currently, we believe that our 28 dealerships offer sufficient dealer representation across the country. We continually review new dealer requests and if they prove to have long term viability then we proceed. However, we would rather have fewer strong, viable dealerships than a host of unstable ones.
Explain the dismal resale values. Why is the rate of depreciation so high and why isn't anything being done to protect Citroën's resale values?
Our rate of depreciation is no better or no worse than most other vehicle brands in SA.
Why is the cost of regular servicing and maintenance so high? How do you justify these exhorbitant servicing costs, described by readers as being "ridiculously expensive"? And what is Citroën SA's policy regarding parts that have to be sourced from France? What is the standard turn-around time for parts that have to be sourced?
We do not have any issues with parts supply. We have a multi-million Rand warehouse facility in Johannesburg that consistently has one of the highest "pick rates" in the industry at over 95%. Some parts have to be brought in from France as special deliveries, but depending on availability at the French warehouse, these can be here within 48 hours.
The build quality of the cars has also been brought into question, with several readers lamenting the rattles, squeaks and leaks being unleashed by their vehicles. Readers' queries are being ignored, even when these cars should still be under warranty. How is this possible?
It's simple. They are not being ignored !!!
What about introducing a turbodiesel to the C5 line-up? And how soon before stop-start technology is incorporated in the C2? Will PSA's production diesel hybrid ever be made available in South Africa?
We are investigating a turbo diesel for the C5 range. Stop start will not be launched in SA as the costs from France are substantially higher than the standard model. There are no diesel hybrids available to us yet.
Citroën SA has requested the contact details of some respondents who will be contacted individually.