auto

Stock take: Stellantis thinks big on used cars


Buyers who plump for a car under the scheme get a minimum of a year’s warranty, a vehicle history and mileage check, a multi-point inspection and PDI, 30-day exchange and 12 months’ roadside assistance. That is very much the industry standard for an approved used scheme, as most manufacturers offer similar levels of cover via their franchised dealers.

Volkswagen broke the mould last year when it ditched the long-standing Daswelt Auto name, changed it simply to Approved Used and hiked the warranty and roadside cover to two years apiece. Ford does the same, but only if you buy a car under its Ford Direct programme, where cars are supplied to dealers directly from the manufacturer. Anything bearing the Ford Approved banner has been sourced elsewhere and is demoted to a year’s cover.

Porsche and Ferrari also throw in two years’ warranty and roadside cover, but Kia is the most generous of all, at least for nearly new models: cars up to 20 months old with less than 20,000 miles effectively have the clock reset on the manufacturer’s seven-year/100,000-mile new car warranty, although roadside cover is a standard 12 months.

Richards said the reason for a conventional programme is “because we were bringing more than one approved scheme together [so] we’ve made sure it’s pretty much business as usual”.

However, he said Stellantis plans to add a “no-maintenance guarantee for the customer for a certain mileage or age after they’ve purchased the vehicle”, which is expected by the end of quarter three this year.

Citroën, Peugeot and Vauxhall dealers – of which there are around 500 – will now have to rebrand the used car areas of their forecourts to coincide with a widespread media campaign. Richards said Stellantis had discounted its soft point-of-sale materials – flags, banners, price displays and so on – by more than 50%. Dealers with fixed physical branding, such as Network Q signs on the side of showrooms, will have to replace it with a Spoticar equivalent, but Richards claimed that it will be “pretty low cost” for retailers and that a single-brand programme will ultimately reduce overheads.

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