Igor Dumas
Managing Director Mexico
Groupe PSA
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Pandemic Fast-Tracks Peugeot's Online Strategy

By Andrea Villar | Mon, 07/20/2020 - 05:00

Q: How has Peugeot performed in Mexico in 2020?

A: Before the COVID-19 crisis started in Mexico and for more than three years, we worked in Mexico with our dealership network on a plan called Together to Pass, which goal was to double our market share by 2021. However, in June, we met that objective by reaching 1.02 percent market share at the national level as we sold 643 vehicles. This means that the Peugeot brand in Mexico is on the right track, along with our network of dealerships. We do not plan to close any of our dealerships. Mexico continues to be an interesting market with huge relevance for Groupe PSA.

Now, in the midst of the health crisis, we believe we have the agility and speed to adapt and react to eventualities. Everyone in the industry is facing a critical moment due to the lack of cash flow. However, we have withstood the challenges of the past three months. For 3Q20, we want to continue down the path that we have defined for continued growth, which has been profitable for us and for the dealership network. 

Q: What are your strategies to ensure healthy results by the end of 2020?

A: One of the strategies we implemented to support our dealership network was the launch of our e-commerce page in just 45 days. This is the first nationwide online car sales site in the country. Consumers can view the vehicle and the edition they want and with just five clicks, they can reserve a vehicle with a deposit of MX$5,000 (US$223.2). This is positive for our dealerships because it is a new source of business.

In May, fully digital sales represented 15 percent of our overall sales. Moreover, 100 percent of online bookings, whose sole origin is the Peugeot website, represented 7 percent of our sales. This means that more than 20 percent of our sales had a digital origin. Obviously, this result was driven by COVID-19. We have had very good results and that is encouraging.

In the long term, this is a trend that is going to increase. Consumers are going to be younger over time and will enjoy a digital experience throughout their whole purchasing process. This will require that we work hand-in-hand with our dealership network, which is vital for administrative procedures and for customer delivery. E-commerce for big-ticket items still has room for growth but we see a great deal of potential in the long term.

Q: Regarding sanitary measures, what strategies have you implemented to ensure maximum comfort for users?

A: We apply efficient health and safety protocols and we have complied with all the requirements from the Ministry of Health (SSA). It is very important for us to protect our dealership network and our customers during their shopping experience. We have implemented measures such as regularly cleaning and disinfecting vehicles, and we have a social distancing strategy throughout the purchase and aftersales process.

Q: How will user behavior in the automotive industry change in a post-COVID-19 world?

A: A trend that we are already seeing is that people are going to avoid public transportation for a while. That can create opportunities for the new and used-vehicle markets. In June, some companies bought vehicles to transport their staff and reduce the risk of contagion.

Peugeot is very pleased to see that Mexican consumers like what we are doing. We invite all those who do not know the brand to discover what we offer. Many people in Mexico do not know what Peugeot is. It is a brand that offers quality, exceptional design and pleasurable driving performance.

Q: What obstacles does Groupe PSA see in Mexico to continue delivering good results?

A: I am optimistic about the financial health, performance and strengths of Groupe PSA’s brands, particularly the Peugeot brand in Mexico. We delivered very positive economic results in 2019. This does not mean that we are not concerned like everyone else in the industry, but we need to stay positive and optimistic because we have a good product, a large network of dealerships and we offer excellent service to our clients. An example of this is the Peugeot Cumple (Peugeot Delivers) plan, which guarantees customers that if they are not satisfied with our service, they do not have to pay for it. For every 1,000 customers who enter a workshop, only one is dissatisfied.

Q: What lessons have you learned from the pandemic?

A: In addition to realizing that working from home is possible, we learned how to sell vehicles online. We had an e-commerce strategy that was more long-term, but the crisis forced us to accelerate those plans and in just 45 days we launched our website. We also learned to be humble, because nobody expected this to happen and humility is necessary to hear what is happening around us and to act with agility.

Andrea Villar Andrea Villar Journalist and Industry Analyst