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Thu Oct 23 2014, 01:00pm

Joined: Oct 01 2009
Member No: #1
Location: Northumberland
joe2207 wrote ...

This isnt necessarily related to this thread/topic although i too have a turbo niggle, but the constant reference to "stealers" is irritating. i work and have worked for 30 years for "stealers" and in the most they do a fantastic job working within the confines of the manufacturers guidelines.

They make next to nothing off the car sale, greatly reduced parts and labour margin on warranty and block exemption has put the squeeze on service prices, which in the main arent like for like anyway. prices are higher for parts but if you are interested, they give a 1-2 year european warranty, consequential damage warranty and should the part fail they will repatriate the car to you.

Aftermarket parts are not going to offer you that service and whilst we accept people have a choice, why not refer to aftermarket suppliers as "sell it and scarper". come on guys, get real. "stealers" offer support when you need it (warranty, goodwill etc) so support them.

Just my thoughts.Incidentally, i am an Aftersales Manager for Mercedes Benz.Great, great site by the way. Rant over.

speedfix wrote ...

"why not refer to aftermarket suppliers as "sell it and scarper"

Have you never heard of Lemforder aftermarket parts and suppliers GSf, F&I, compared to the prices of OEM you work for they are not sell it and scarper.

Maybe you have been brain washed by your OEM!!!!!!!!!!!!

BruceB wrote ...

joe2207 wrote ...
... but the constant reference to "stealers" is irritating. i work and have worked for 30 years for "stealers" and in the most they do a fantastic job working within the confines of the manufacturers guidelines. ... Rant over.
It's just the same sort of low 'comedy' that makes some people refer to Little Chef as 'Little Thief', Microsoft as 'Micro$oft' or our past unlamented Prime Minister as 'Tony Bliar'. In my family, we call it bumper sticker humour. As in, what sort of knucklehead puts a 'funny' bumper sticker on his car and is so thick that he gets a chuckle out of seeing it every morning? A joke is funny once ... and then it's gone.

I have never (and never would) used that term to describe a main dealer and to be fair, Citroen repair pricing for most of the main items is competitive under 'Fixed Price Repairs' and Servicing offers from which the Dealers themselves work on reduced margins.

Franchise Fees, equipment, staff training, warranty on work etc. etc. cost a lot of money which has to be reflected in labour rates charged for all Main Dealers.

They are not trying to 'steal' anything, just ensuring that their business can survive and pay the wages of all the people they employ.

The biggest issue out there is that people are trying to run cars that they really can't afford, on a shoestring and with the complexity of modern cars, it simply isn't viable.

gmerry wrote ...

Hi all, I did a quick search on the forum and found "only" 8 references to stealers so this would indicate that the vast majority of posters realise and appreciate the valuable service that official dealers provide.

I feel however that this post is so far off the original topic that it must be coming close to being frozen. Over to admin.


Done G
Thu Oct 23 2014, 06:23pm
Joined: Sep 04 2014
Member No: #1848
Location: Teynham, Kent ME9 9HH
As an ex dealer principal (that is the term used for a franchise owner) I concur that it is rather a derogatory term, we operated a Subaru/Isuzu franchise, and I can assure you the margin on a new car from the importers was 12.5%, the margin on parts was around 25 to 60% (that depends on the part, the higher the margin would normally refer to items such as filters and other normal service parts.

As a dealer we HAD to accept the stock from the importers, some of which you are really unlikely to sell, other things we HAD to take were tools, many of which you never use and all over priced, lets be honest here VERY overpriced. With all the training involved, the approved signage, corporate flooring and layout and all provided by the importers at THEIR price, there was little margin.

The only real tangible bonus for being a dealer was the used car stock you had access to from the public and the backing of the signage.

As an example, our importers instructed us to remove the petrol forecourt as they did not feel it was worthwhile for the image. It all came to a head and we told them where they could go with their WONDERFUL franchise. I also have a friend who owned a LARGE Citroen dealership, he had targets he had to meet each month or quarter, you MUST sell 300 cars per month, fail to meet this then the discount level goes down and you also get less cars of the popular and easier to sell models.

Just imagine being a Citroen dealer and being told you HAVE to take 3 C6's per month!!, oh and sell them.

The reputation of dealers is in their hands, but it is not all gold I can assure you. Support the dealers who support you, give them feedback on your experience with them and pass it onto others.
3 User said Thank You to mercuryrv for this Post :
 cruiserphil (23 October 2014) , Trainman (23 October 2014) , Tjensen (24 October 2014)
Fri Oct 24 2014, 12:02am
Joined: May 18 2010
Member No: #119
Location: Woodbridge
There are multiple comparisons being made here. A key one is between Mercedes Benz and Citroen Dealerships... which are quite different. Mercedes Benz customers expect to be treated consistently well at every dealership, and be generally well looked after.

My wife will not go back to Citroen (or any mainstream brand) because of the way she has been treated by Mercedes. They have really made her feel valued, and they really look after her. They still collect her car (which is now 9 years old) from her place of work, and return it to her at the agreed time.

The service/parts prices are not significantly priced over the OEM/Independent parts suppliers. When you visit in person, you get coffee, nibbles, TV. When I had a warning light appear on the M4, the Swindon MB dealership - which I just turned up at - even found me a bacon sandwich. Excellent! This is what Citroen need to emulate for DS. This is what BMW has done for Mini.

I personally get excellent service from my local Citroen dealership, who have consistently gone above and beyond to help me - but with highish staff turnover, shared brands in once centre, the front of house feels more Tesco than Waitrose, and it doesn't feel "special". The really good front of house staff seem to move on, to... Mini, BMW and the other "more premium" brands....

I do sometimes have to speak to one of the longer term staff who understand that I really do expect them to "do the absolute full service", including all optional/advisory items on a 7 year old car - and why I feel passionate about it being looked after properly.... and expect them to respect the car and me as if it was a brand new car.... You don't have to do that at Mercedes.

MB still seem to complete software updates etc., and check specific manufacturer advised items, some FoC, if/as required.... Citroen dealers don't seem to... unless a fault/problem/issue is raised.
1 User said Thank You to dsharples for this Post :
 e3steve (25 October 2014)
Dave Mc   
Fri Oct 24 2014, 07:29pm
Joined: Mar 02 2010
Member No: #64
Location: Weston-super-Mare
My local Citroen dealership in Weston super Mare are excellent. They know my name and car. There is a very comfortable TV area, unlimited drinks while you wait. They will pick up and drop off my car from home or work at no extra charge. Guess I'm lucky by the sound of things.
Fri Oct 24 2014, 10:04pm
Joined: Jul 08 2014
Member No: #1775
Location: Colchester
I've never been one to use dealers. Having been a mechanic for the first few years of my working life and having an interest in most things mechanical, I've always done my own maintenance.

On the odd occasion when i needed help with my cx, my local dealer was actually unhelpful, to thepoint of rudeness.Luckily i found another dealer, a few miles away in Hedingham, that could not have been more helpful.

Sadly the Hedingham dealer is no longer there .Pity really, now that i can afford a dealer's service i would've like to have returned the favour.

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