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French auto manufacturer Citroen is making an entry in to India and the company has planned things differently. While most brands prefer big showrooms, Citroen says the minimum space they require is 150 square meters. They want to introduce the 'La Maison Citroen' hospitality with this.
According to AutoCar India, Citroen claims that customers visiting showrooms prefer spending time in the car they're looking at, and, behind the wheel. Keeping this in mind, the company its 'La Maison Citroen' concept in France in 2017, and has a total of 17 such stores across the globe.
Citroen wants dealers in India to adopt this new model, new approach, and wants dealers to adopt the 'La Maison' branding right from the beginning.
The La Maison (means 'home' in French) concept uses wood and earthy tones accented by bright highlights to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. It also features a highly interactive virtual system through which potential buyers can configure their cars at home and then finalize the configuration process while in the showroom. The company wants to focus on customer experience, driven by digital tools and a feeling of warmth, rather than the size of the display area.
According to Citroen the format works with two cars on display, a tech wall, a small café and a discussion area. Joel Verany, Vice President Distribution Strategy and Network Development, Citroen India, said, "Data from all these 17 showrooms consistently shows higher customer satisfaction scores than the levels in our older style, larger showrooms."
Citroen feels that a smaller sized showroom brings about a cozy, welcoming feeling. It also reduces that amount a dealer has to invest in a showroom. This is true for large Tier 1 cities where real estate rates are as high as can be.
This plan could backfire though. Citroen isn't a well-known brand in the country, and customers often associate the size of a showroom with the size and stability of the brand. Having said that, Citroen is not limiting the size of the showrooms, and they say 150 square meters is only the minimum requirement.
Arnaud Belloni, Marketing and Communication Director, Citroen India said, "We will invest in building our brand in India and we are open to all options right from the conventional ads and endorsements, talking about our French roots to even other avenues like festivals and motorsports where we have a very strong heritage."
He also said that while motorsports is an unlikely angle for India, it can easily convey the durability and ride quality Citroen cars are known for.
The company is currently on a dealer roadshow and expects to have it's first let of dealers by the end of 2019.
Thoughts About The 'La Maison' Concept Being Brought To India By Citroen
Good move. Buying a car in India, for the most part, is a family oriented decision. Giving customers and their families a 'homely' experience is the best thing Citroen can do to ensure initial sales.