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Friday,  Aug 18,2017,08:29 (GMT+7)

Peugeot Scooters offers a wider choice to customers

Reported by Duc Tam
Wednesday,  May 17,2017,19:56 (GMT+7)
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Peugeot Scooters offers a wider choice to customers

Reported by Duc Tam

Last October, Peugeot Scooters made its official launch to Vietnam’s high-end scooter market, bringing in three scooter models—Django, CityStar and Satelis. What is the value Peugeot sets for customers and is their goal feasible of becoming one of the top three premium scooter brands in Vietnam when it comes to market share? In the following interview with the Weekly, Mr. Xavier Casin, Chief of Representative Office in Vietnam, Asia Director of Peugeot Motocycles, addressed these issues.

We are in Vietnam to offer customers a wider choice by bringing in scooters symbolic of the French design. The phrase “French design” is outstanding by itself, which is closely attached to elegance. Fashion refers to a point of time as something may be favored today but may become out-of-date tomorrow. Elegance is quite different. It goes hand in hand with time, ever. Mr. Xavier Casin, Chief of Representative Office in Vietnam, Asia Director of Peugeot Motocycles

Mr. Xavier Casin,Chief of Representative Officein Vietnam, Asia Director of Peugeot Motocycles

Q.: In mid-October 2016, Peugeot Scooters was introduced to Vietnamese customers. Could you please talk about your business in Vietnam?

A.: We launched the brand in October last year and started local production two months later. The first “wave” of Peugeot Scooters was delivered to the customers just a few days before Christmas, on December 15th and 20th.

We’ve received much positive feedback from customers. They say they prefer our designing styles that are distinctively French and very special. Of course, our quality—which is determined by a trademark boasting a 118-year history—is indisputable.

Moreover, we’ve also received many requests from established dealers for becoming distributors of Peugeot Scooters in the country. Currently, aside from our two Brand Stores in Hanoi and HCMC—still under refurbishment—we have showrooms on “soft opening mode” in Danang and Bien Hoa City.

You entered the Vietnamese market when the local motorcycle market seemed to be saturated. What do you think about this?

Overall, Vietnam’s motorcycle market seems saturated in recent years after its peak time in 2011. However, given the 3 million units of motorbikes bought by consumers a year, this market remains attractive to us.

More importantly, look carefully at the breakdown of the high-end scooter segment—at VND50 million or more apiece.

First, with some 300,000 units sold every year on the market, Vietnam has retained it first position in Asia as far as the high-end 125-150 scooter segment is concerned. Second, this segment has shown quite impressive annual growth, at 15-25%. When income increases, customers will change their motorcycles—from underbone motorcycles to scooters, and from scooters to high-end scooters. That’s why although the market seems to be saturated in general, a deeper analysis will show that the volume of high-end scooters consumed is ever higher. That’s also the reason why Peugeot Scooters came here.

Much has been talked recently about a ban on motorbikes in big cities. What would you say about it?

We’ve faced the same problem in other markets. However, to ban or restrict motorbikes, you should have a replacement by providing convenient public transport services and I know both Hanoi and HCMC are working on it. But it takes time.

Furthermore, I think the motorbike has been an integral part of the Vietnamese life. A restriction is possible but a ban may not be feasible.

Motorbikes are banned in China’s city centers. Yet they are still used in suburban districts, and Peugeot Scooters’ sales there have increased steadily. Our scooters are used not only as a transport means but also a status symbol as well as a personal style.

If the reason for banning motorbikes is linked to environmental issues, our brand new scooters complying with Euro 3 or Euro 4 regulation are actually of help to local authorities. Taking care of more polluting vehicles should be the first step of restriction.

What makes a customer choose Peugeot Scooters instead of other motorcycle brands which have already been here?

We didn’t come here to compete head-on against other brands with “me-too” products. We have our own history and our vehicles will bring something new.

We are in Vietnam to offer customers a wider choice by bringing in scooters symbolic of the French design. The phrase “French design” is outstanding by itself, which is closely attached to elegance.

Fashion refers to a point of time as something may be favored today but may become out-of-date tomorrow. Elegance is quite different. It goes hand in hand with time, ever.

Look at our Peugeot Django 125cc and see the difference.

Technically, this scooter is safe for Vietnam cities’ road conditions including flooded streets. But as regards the color, we offer consumers a unique distinction with contrasting dual colors that bring forth youthfulness and some French freedom of mind. Customers may choose a combination of white-red, white-orange, white-blue, or white-green. The premium versions with beige seat offer a combination of matte grey and either dark purple or brown.

The wide range of colors will please men and women. However, if you opt for a more powerful scooter, it may be Peugeot Satelis 400RS, imported from France. Satelis brings the comfort of a limousine with the riding pleasure of a sports vehicle… and no competition at this level of price.

It’s fascinating to own an exclusive French-designed scooter. But an environment-minded consumer may think of an electric bike in place of a scooter.

Peugeot Scooters is environment conscious and as we are shifting our engines to Euro 3 and Euro 4 standards, we are also looking at the next step. Indeed, e-bikes help reduce the glass house effect. However, be careful. Don’t create a new problem while trying to tackle an old one.

Why so? Pay attention to the battery technology used for e-bikes. Many bikes use low-tech batteries which are not always included in a whole life program with proper recycling. If dumped in the environment, toxics would permeate through soil and underground water. That terrible environmental effect would impact not only the current generation but those that follow.

Peugeot Scooters is known for its motto “Motion and Emotion.” What is the emotion you will give to customers?

Emotions come in many ways. The design and the riding pleasure are Peugeot’s DNA. Our first customers are fond of our Peugeot Django and the “key words” we’ve often heard of are “romantic,” “elegantly combined colors,” “beautiful design,” and “distinctively French.” But then riding Django also gives you confidence thanks to its safety and road handling features. With Satelis, the pleasure is even stronger literally within hands reach—the right hand!

Are GrabBike and UberMOTO your competitors?

If you want to move from A to B, or you have a demand for “motion” as cited above, Grab/Uber can be an option. Both represent convenient transport services. Even a normal underbone can help satisfy that demand. However, Peugeot Scooters is not only a means of transport but a conveyor of personality and personal emotion.

That’s theoretical. Practically speaking, Grab/Uber have been up and running for a few years now and during that time, the volume of high-end scooters bought has been constantly rising. To put it differently, Grab/Uber and scooters all together help meet the diverse needs of customers.

Please elaborate on Peugeot Scooters’ goals for this year in Vietnam?

In the long run, we set a goal of becoming one among the top three high-end scooter brands in Vietnam when it comes to market share. For this year, we will build brand identity in the eyes of customers and make sure every Vietnamese looking to spend VND70 million-plus on a scooter will have Peugeot Scooters on his or her mind. Be prepared to see the launch of a new vehicle every year.

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Giấy phép Báo điện tử số: 321/GP-BTTT, cấp ngày 26/10/2007
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