Lockdown has seen unprecedented demand for Peugeot in the UK with the brand selling out of some models completely.
Managing director David Peel spoke to Rebecca Chaplin at a special Car Dealer Live, hosted from the brand’s newly renovated West London super site, which you can watch above.
Peel said: ‘If anything we’ve been short of supply.
‘In a time when everybody had to shut factories, and we were no different, we’ve got 12 new models, seven new LEVs (low emission vehicles) and a time where the factory was closed for a couple of months so our product is in real demand this year.’
He explained: ‘We’ve had enough but we’ve been sold out in a few of our new models, which is unprecedented for us.
‘It does mean that we’re building order banks for the future though. Our model for many years has been one where we would do 70 per cent of our sales in the month, for the month.
‘We’re now moving to a model where we have to take orders for future months, which is much healthier for everybody because there’s not so much of a rush in the month and it gives better customer satisfaction.’
Despite this strain on demand, Peel said he isn’t worried about supply for the rest of the year.
He said: ‘We’ve got enough to see us through to the end of the year with the production that’s coming but the peak in September has obviously put the pressure on us.
‘The supply is coming but it just means we’re selling from build, rather than selling from stock.’
Peel also revealed that online sales had accelerated for the brand since March, on its platform that has been offering end-to-end online car sales for more than two years.
He said: ‘We had a completely online platform from January 2017. It’s been building slowly since then.
‘Certainly, throughout Covid we’ve seen our online sales double.
‘It’s still a very small percentage of what we do, but sales have really accelerated in the last few months.’
Peel was previously the chief executive of Robins & Day, who own the super site where the filming took place, and he shared some insight into what it took to get it to this point.
‘It’s been the flagship Peugeot site for as long as I can remember. This is now a tri-brand flagship,’ he said.
‘I’ve been MD of Peugeot now for four and a half years, I was the chief executive of Robins and Day for eight years previously.
‘I think halfway through my tenure in that role we put the plans in motion for this site as it is today.
‘To be there at the start, maybe seven or eight years ago and to be now in it is really exciting.
‘We’re really proud of what the team has done to get the investment and to put this together at a time when it’s challenging for everybody.’
When asked whether he felt like it was taking anything away by adding Citroen and DS showrooms here, he said: ‘The PSA brands are positioned to attract a different customer base, we’re confident that a customer coming on this site has a choice of a Citroen, Peugeot or DS. Each one has a different customer demographic so we’re confident we can maximise the opportunities and not lose out to another brand.
‘There’s no overlap of customer demographic.’
To watch the interview in full click play on the video at the top of the page.