Speaking to Car Dealer at the launch of the new DS3 Cabrio, Linda Jackson suggested that while the DS line has been of great benefit to the firm, the brand isn’t quite where she’d like it to be just yet.
‘We’ve done a lot of work in terms of changing perception, but there’s a lot of work to do,’ she told us. ‘We’re looking at DS as a way to really improve our brand, and we’re working very very hard to do so.
‘Go back 10 years and we were about cash-backs, big discounts and so on. We’re not that now, and we’re never going back there, but we still have to change people’s perceptions.’
Using the DS line, said Jackson, is an ideal way of doing just that – with attention grabbing models increasing interest in the brand.
‘They’re attractive products, they make people think about the brand, and it must be working because it’s getting people into showrooms that wouldn’t have been there before.’
That isn’t the only measure the brand is taking: also making changes across the dealer network in an attempt to reinforce stronger values.
‘We’ve changed the corporate identity of all of our dealer network too,’ Jackson said, ‘so by the end of this year our dealers will have the new corporate identity which changes the whole image, and we’ve been working a lot on customer satisfaction too – and that really is key.’
Some of the measures have already taken effect – with Jackson suggesting that residual values for even the bread-and-butter ‘C’ range now proving to be higher than ever before.
‘DS and DS3 has very strong residual values, but actually as we’ve launched new C range products over the last few years, because we’ve been changing perception of the brand and the way we’ve brought them to market, that has added four or five per cent to the residual values over the last few years,’ she said.
‘But undoubtedly the DS3 has been a very big success for us. Last year we sold just over 18,000 of them and it’s still growing year-on-year – bringing in new customers that have never considered a Citroen before.
‘It’s building the awareness of our brand, getting new people in and increasing our sales.’