The Citroen ‘La Maison’ model essentially intends to deliver outstanding customer experience via the use of digital technology and a feeling a warmth in the showroom rather than sheer size.
With Citroen gearing up for its India debut, they have a rather unique concept for their showrooms. They are not keen upon large, multi-storeyed dealerships for the brand but instead believe that a showroom spanning just 150 sq mt is just fine for them to deliver the customer experience they want to through the Citroen La Maison format of dealerships.
Citroen debuted the ‘La Maison Citroen’ concept in France in 2017. ‘La Maison’ essentially means ‘home’ in French and this model of showrooms use wood and earthy tones accented by bright highlights to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Citroen has 17 such outlets worldwide and when they enter India, they are will adopt the ‘La Maison’ model of dealership along with the branding right from the outset.
This model essentially intends to deliver outstanding customer experience via the use of digital technology and a feeling a warmth in the showroom rather than sheer size. Citroen say that their data show that customers want to spend maximum time behind the wheel of a car when they are visiting a showroom because they have already done a major portion of research about the car at home.
Citroen say that this model of showrooms will just have two cars on display, a tech wall and a small cafe with a discussion area. Customers can even configure their cars through a highly interactive virtual system. Speaking at La Maison Citroen in Paris, 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 believes that a smaller showroom makes the customers feel cozy and also reduces dealer investments, thus improving the business plan. This is particularly convenient in large cities where real estate costs in prime locations can be sky high. There are also some challenges with this model of showrooms though!
In India, for a brand like Citroen who is not so well known, this could work conversely where customers tend to associate the size of a showroom with the size and stability of the brand. However, Citroen wouldn’t be necessarily restricting their showroom sizes to just 150 sq mt as that is the minimum requirement and they certainly can have larger showrooms.
Arnaud Belloni, Marketing and Communication Director of the company 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.”
Citroen is currently on a dealer roadshow and expects to have dealers identified this year itself. Their first car – the C5 Aircross is expected to be launched in India somtime next year. With the C5 Aircross, the PSA group marks its re-entry in India after almost three decades.