Speaking to Car Dealer exclusively at the SMMT annual dinner last night, the French firm’s MD said her firm had the ‘right cars’ for the market.
‘The situation is changing on a weekly basis,’ she told us. ‘The end of September saw a lot of manufacturer registrations at the end, then October saw the market dip and now in November we’re seeing things stabilise a little. Whether that’s because of the VAT rise in January we’re unsure.’
When asked whether Citroen would move to offer a special VAT free deal to rival those from Skoda and Seat, she remained tight-lipped, but said there was some ‘activity’ planned for December.
Jackson took up her new post in July and has been still ‘finding her feet’, but has made dealer visits a priority.
‘I get out and see dealers once a week – at the moment I go announced, but there’s a lot to be said for mystery shopping,’ she added.
‘Dealers are very happy at the moment. They like the product range and with the new C4 arriving, and the success of the DS3, they’re confident.
‘We’ve got the right number of dealers at the moment. There are a couple of open points in London but apart from that we’re at the right level.
‘The next big step for the network is rebranding. We’re rolling this out at the moment and appreciate that it’s an investment so are helping some dealers with the costs.’
On the subject of cars, Jackson said she believes the DS3 is perfect for the marque and that the DS4 – due next year – will help this further.
When asked if a smaller DS1 – a spiritual successor to the Saxo VTR – was on the cards she said ‘nothing has been ruled out’.
‘We’ve got a good range of cars at the moment that is right for the market, the dealers love them and customers are buying them – only time will tell what we’ve got up our sleeves next,’ she added.