Well, according to the boardroom suits at the manufacturer, those days are well and truly in the past. And they are about to out their money where their mouths are.
Between May 11 and 25, most of their dealerships will have the new 308 on display and ready to test drive. Alongside a Ford Focus and a VW Golf.
The idea is to offer customers the opportunity to look over – and drive – all three. And they are confident that Peugeot will come out on top.
And Peugeot will have the financial experts standing by so if, say, a Golf driver thinks the 308 is a better car for the money, they can be shown how to trade in their old car for a new 308.
Supreme confidence? Or madness, directly comparing their 308 alongside the other big players in the sector? Only time will tell.
But Neil Moscrop, brand director of Peugeot UK, doesn’t think of it as a gamble. ‘A risk? Really? Do you think so?’ he says. ‘It depends how confident you are about your cars.
‘It’s a chance for customers to compare the 308 with the market leaders in a direct head-to-head challenge. We’ll invite current customers, and others, along, and we are so confident in our product that we believe they won’t be disappointed.
‘I have driven the Golf and the Focus – I spent three days in each – and I think this will be a very strong promotion.
‘Will people prefer the Golf and leave our dealership and go straight to a Ford showroom? I don’t think they will pay £2,500 more for the same car.’
Stuart Hodge, director of quality and network development, added: ‘I think trust and transparency is important and this is a tool for the customer to say “tell us what you think about us” and we are saying we have confidence in our product, so come and tell us what you think.
‘If people think the competition is better, fine. But we want people to come and give us a try because we believe differently. It’s about trust and confidence.’
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