The Fiat Group Automobiles UK chief executive told Car Dealer he wants the network’s dealer council to become the ‘Alfa Romeo Dealer Association’.
‘We’d want them to come up with ideas and general topics that need addressing,’ said Humberstone. ‘We’d then work together as a partnership to address these issues.’
The tenacious chief has also got the bit between his teeth with regards to customer surveys where Alfa Romeo often languish at the bottom of the pile. He wants dealers to work with the manufacturer to address these issues as a matter of urgency.
‘We’re planning on holding dealer profit clinics as well which will take good performing dealers as an example and show the rest how they’ve done it,’ he said.
Currently the Alfa network stands at 50 dealers but he’s looking to increase this to 55 in the next year. The recently launched MiTo MultiAir and soon-to-arrive Giulietta will heighten interest in the brand, he believes.
Humberstone also hammered home the importance of the internet saying: ‘If I was a dealer I would have the best website going, because that is where the future is.
‘I see the retail model as one that is 100 years old and there needs to be change – and that change is digital. The way I look at it is that there are 13-year-olds out there at the moment and their lives revolve around the internet – these kids will be car buyers in five years.
‘The internet is very much at the forefront of our plans and we need to look at how we can sell cars online, but while protecting our dealers at the same time.’
by JAMES BAGGOTT