Phil Robson, Peugeot
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Phil Robson, Peugeot
Peugeot’s fleet director, Phil Robson, wants Peugeot’s Contract Hire arm to get much closer to SMEs

Peugeots Phil Robson explains to Ralph Morton how Peugeot dealers will be changing their approach to SME customers.

CAR and van leasing brokers have always been in touch with their local market.

They know the customer levers to pull, they’ve built the relationships and provided good business lease deals for years.

And now Phil Robson, Peugeot’s fleet director, wants to see Peugeot dealers act in the same fashion.

“We don’t have leasing broker relationships but we see Peugeot Contract Hire, which is delivered through our dealers, becoming more brokeresque in its approach, becoming more Internet savvy and more independent,” explains Phil.

“It’s for us to deliver the customer some exceptionally good value deals.”

“We need to turn Peugeot Contract Hire into promoting the product rather than an offshoot of the Peugeot fleet department.

“I want dealers to be more aggressive in the SME sector. It remains one of our key opportunities. I think it’s a truly positive sign for an SME to come to a wholly owned contract hire company and get the total offer from them.

Peugeot 208
The Peugeot 208 won the award for the Most Cost Efficient Car for an SME to buy in our company Car of the Year Awards

“So I want the general manager of Peugeot Contract Hire to become more commercially aggressive in the market place.

Phil reckons that many SMEs just ‘sat on their hands’ financially last year – or, as Phil puts it, “flexed their financial muscles, choosing in many cases not to operate in the market”.

Phil points to a particular downturn in Peugeot van sales. “If you take it year on year our vans are cheaper than they were last year. We believe it’s all market driven on the SME van side.

“The world has changed – cash has become more important,” reckons Phil.

However, with 2012 out of the way, Phil is convinced SMEs will come back into the market.

“Decisions on replacement company cars need to be made because people get to a critical point – usually 4.5 years – when it gets too expensive to keep the car going.

“We’re making significant investment in Peugeot Contract Hire and its positioning – we want to be part of the SME growth of 2013.”

Underpinning the refreshed approach to the SME market is the Peugeot Appointment programme. It is designed, says Phil, to generate over 3000 SME leads a year.

Peugeot 508 hybrid
Peugeot expects SMEs to return to the car market in 2013 – the stylish Peugeot 508 hybrid or 1.6 e-diesel both make sense as business car buys

“The key is to create a flow of SME customers into dealers. And that in turn also drives excellence in the way we present to SMEs.

“So we’ve been undertaking plenty of dealer training because, frankly, we were horrified at dealers’ inability to turn up at an SME business and present a convincing conversation.

“It’s simple things – but it’s about getting the basics right. It’s about driving the sales process.”

And that’s something Peugeot has started to get right. We’ve just awarded Peugeot’s new 208 model the title of Most Cost-Efficient Car for an SME to Buy in our SME Company Car of the Year awards – see the story Peugeot 208 wins Most Cost-Efficient Car for an SME to Buy.

Along with a redesigned website, and new real time apps displaying comparative company car tax data (see Editor’s Blog Peugeot’s Phil Robson gets App-tastic!), Peugeot has every chance.

So watch out for those special Peugeot Contract Hire business car lease offers – Peugeot could now have the right deal for your SME business.

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