Business – Honda unveils its new Dream dealership concept – HONDA occasions

DREAM TEAM

Honda unveils new Dream dealership concept

Business - Honda unveils its new Dream dealerships concept - HONDA occasions

In an attempt to regain its first place in France, Honda is launching a new dealership concept called Dream: a place refocused around the customer and reserved for 20% of the network. Guided tour at Profil, the first Dream-labeled concession.

The Dream concession concept is a "new meeting point between the brand and its customer", explains Frédéric Besson, the" Mr. Dream "at the origin of the project at Honda, also responsible for the network development of the world and European number one, who sums up his project in one sentence:"put the customer at the center of our concerns".

Because if the two-wheeler market is growing and seems to be in full health (read our), it is in fact very fluid.

"I see the profitability of the networks and I can say that if they do not react today, in five years they are dead !", warns Florent Lionnet, general manager of the Motorcycles Division at Honda France:"the concept of the Dream dealerships is the basis of what I wanted to do when I joined Honda in 2005"(read, Editor’s note):"today, the customer in France is no longer the king because he has been too accustomed to hard discount. We must put it back at the center of our concerns, because quality will be born out of quantity: we will once again become number one in France when we deserve it. !"

To regain "its" first place in France (lost ten years ago), the world and European number one has thus set up a system of "tripod that relies on products, network and people at the same time".

Honda Dream Convention in October 2006.

According to its managers, the Honda network in France is indeed made up today of 20% of not very dynamic dealerships, of 60% "waiters"and 20%"who constantly fuel". So it is these 20% of"very good, alone providing 40% of Honda sales volume", who were chosen to benefit from the Dream label by 2010. Because"these 40 concessions will pull the whole network up", foresees Florent Lionnet who does not hide to want to send"an electric shock in the network"by encouraging"the Warriors".

"Those who weren’t selected to become a Dream dealership soon realized that if they didn’t react, they would disappear.", continues Florent who says he is ready to encourage changes of owners in the concessions when necessary, or the regrouping of several concessions:"there are still very few very large groups in the motorcycle, unlike the automobile", he notes,"but by 2008 we will be able to promote, when necessary, the extension of a Dream concession in such or such region in order to create a real well-controlled secondary network, but not a system of agents or resellers".

Pascal Delavenne (after-sales service manager) and Florent Lionnet (general manager).

Clean up the motorcycle market

The Dream concessions – "that already existed in Japan", he specifies – may be"the spark"making it possible to clean up the motorcycle market, which is not expandable:"I want to bring more professionalism to the world of two-wheelers because if we don’t do it, it won’t last".

The stages of the Dream program

  • January 2005: definition of the "Dream" concept
  • January 2006: constitution of an internal "Network development" department
  • February / June 2006: identification and selection of the first Dream concessions
  • October 2006: inauguration of the first Dream concession: Profil in Saint Mandé (94)
  • April 2007: inauguration of the Dream National Moto concessions in La Garenne Colombes (92), Center Bike in Aulnay sous bois (93), Bossaert in Lille (59) and Trajectoire in Bordeaux (33)
  • April 2007 to December 2008: application of all or part of the Dream program recommendations to the entire French Honda network
  • April 2007 to December 2010: gradual opening of 40 Dream concessions on French territory

Initially, only 20% of the 217 dealers that today account for France, the world and European number one, are affected by the "Dream" label..

Ultimately, this proportion could be increased to 30% but it will be "a maximum", warns Florent Lionnet who is counting on the ripple effect: thus, the dealers not selected to be part of the duly labeled" Dream Team "will make an effort to be up to the Dream concessions..

"On the sidelines of the opening of these Dream dealerships which must be considered as true vectors of the brand’s image, the other members of the Honda network will be able to gradually adopt all or part of the recommendations of the Dream program according to their local characteristics", specifies Honda which foresees that at the end of 2008,"the entire Honda network will be affected by this overhaul".

The Dream concessionaire, selected according to quality and profitability criteria, must invest to meet the label criteria and benefits from an importer’s aid of up to 50% on average..

Model of a Dream dealership, with customer reception in the center of the store.

"This is not just a simple interior design", specifies Florent Lionnet,"because it is not because we have beautiful furniture that we take good care of the customer! So we decided, with Frédéric Besson and the whole team, to set up a new concept not only material but also psychological.".

Thus, considering that "two-wheelers are not a consumer product but an art of living", the head of the Motorcycle Division of Honda France wanted"break the shackles of motorcycle distribution in France, by asking for a level of requirement for Dream dealerships never seen in the world of two-wheelers and perhaps even four-wheelers".

But rather than creating branches or "stores" like certain other brands, Honda wanted to mark its difference with the Dream label, awarded every year according to quality criteria "a bit like the stars in a gastronomic guide".

"On average, customers change vehicles every 22 months", notes Florent Lionnet:"one of the major issues is therefore the used vehicle", which explains the important place of used motorcycles and scooters within the Dream dealerships.

Frédéric Besson, "Mr. Dream" and responsible for network development for the Honda France Motorcycles Division.

"Over the months, we conducted several in-depth surveys to understand who our customers were and how the market had evolved.", specifies Frédéric Besson, Honda’s" Mister Dream ". Conclusion: Honda is a brand with a strong" motorcycle "connotation whereas"50% of our customers are not bikers"but commuters, these motorists who come by scooter to avoid traffic jams.

Honda therefore preferred to segment its customer base in terms of typology rather than socio-professional categories: on the one hand enthusiasts, on the other utility vehicles. A simple but effective distinction (a CBR 1000 owner does not have the same concerns as someone who comes to buy a scooter to earn an hour a day) that we should find in Dream dealerships, with the reception intended for symbolically to "put the customer at the center of our concerns".

"Studies in mass distribution have shown that when entering a store, men tend to walk to the right while women tend to walk to the left.", continues Frédéric Besson:"that’s silly, but if we do not take these elements into account, the customer may unconsciously feel frustrated".

A dealership is no longer a point of sale,
it’s a place to buy

The studies carried out by Honda with its customers have also highlighted their most frequent aspirations: to try out motorcycles or even simply to be able to ride on them, to be guided in the choice of a two-wheeler, to have a pleasant and smiling interlocutor and "not having the feeling of being an intruder when entering the store, like in a paddock where everyone is busy".

The Honda Profil dealership in Saint-Mandé (94) was the first to benefit from the Dream label.

In summary : "a dealership is no longer a point of sale, it is a place of purchase", specifies Honda again:" in other words, instead of obeying the sole logic of the distributor, it must also be conceived from the point of view of the consumer".

The quality criteria required to obtain the Dream label are based on six main rules: consistency, atmosphere, readability, layout, customer service and duplication..

Thus, according to our information, a "Dream radio" will soon be broadcast over the internet in Dream dealerships, in order to maintain musical coherence – and advertising! – within the store.

Likewise, "the first instinct of a buyer not too informed is to go on the internet to get information", notes Frédéric Besson. The Dream dealerships will therefore be equipped with at least one Internet access, without forgetting the toilets, the coffee machine, the water fountain and other elements of comfort suitable to properly welcome customers..

A Honda Riding Trainer must be made available to customers at Dream dealerships.

Each Dream dealership must also provide its customers with a Honda Riding Trainer (two-wheel driving training simulator) to make them aware of the specific risks of a motorcycle or scooter..

A central space, the reception area, must be at the heart of the concession to allow a 360 ° overview of the store and its different areas: vehicle, vehicle, workshop, after-sales service, accessories, spare parts, etc..

Radio Dream and "Shop in Shop"

Alongside the main showroom, a space called "Shop in Shop" should be devoted to 125 and scooters. "This space must constitute a center that is immediately identifiable and identifiable by a generalist clientele unfamiliar with the codes in force in the world of motorcycles", specifies Honda in order to capture the attention of" commuters ", those motorists who abandon their cars to save time.

Customer service must be irreproachable: precise information on the interventions to be carried out during an overhaul, free loan of a replacement vehicle, cleaning of the motorcycle before returning it to the customer, ongoing training of mechanics, etc..

Luc Forestier, owner of the Profil concession in Saint-Mandé (94).

"The free loan of a replacement vehicle during an overhaul is essential", confirms Luc Forestier, owner of the Profil concession in Saint-Mandé, the first to benefit from the Dream label:"it’s a bit expensive for the store, but it’s a budget, like an advertising budget, and it’s very important to our customers. We just ask them to refuel before returning it to us, but everything else is our responsibility".

Finally, to attract motorists, a covered space is dedicated to the workshop reception. "No more discussions on all fours on the sidewalk or parking lot, in the wind and in the rain, to listen to that "weird noise when I start" !", explains Pascal Delavenne, after-sales service manager.

A covered workshop welcome reassures the "commuters", these motomobilists not used to the world of motorcycles..

"We also ask Dream dealers to equip themselves with test stands to avoid the risks and loss of time associated with road tests.", continues Pascal Delavenne even if"in some cases, the road test remains the best solution to diagnose a breakdown or a problem", tempers Luc Forestier of the Profil concession.

Regarding the architecture of the Dream concession, a general model makes it possible to distinguish the different areas to be highlighted, but "it is not a mandatory model for everyone. Be careful, we do not make Mac Do with copied / pasted throughout France", rebels Frédéric Besson:"each region, each city, each concession has its specificities and the particularities of the local market or of the concessionaire must be respected".

And in the end, even if some "diehards" may regret the loss – real or supposed – of human contact dear to the motorcycle world, most two-wheeler users certainly have a lot to gain from being welcomed and treated. appropriately when entering a dealership.

Professionalism pays off !

As for the dealers, they also have every interest in showing effort and professionalism, since if we are to believe Luc Forestier of the Profil dealership, "in three months we have recorded a strong increase in our turnover with + 25% on new vehicles, mainly large engines. We started to resell large displacement, because customers can find their way better: today, I have a lot of BM customers who stop, whereas before they only saw scooters and helmets so they did not stop".

"I haven’t had any negative thoughts from customers yet", continues Luc:"they all love being able to ride motorcycles !"

In the immediate term, three Dream concessions are planned for Paris and the inner suburbs by June 2007:

  • in Saint-Mandé (Luc Forestier, inaugurated on October 17)
  • in Aulnay-sous-Bois (Robert Doron)
  • at La Garenne Colombes (Stéphane Haddadj, inauguration on April 5).

Could also soon follow Japauto (avenue de la Grande Armée in Paris) and 7ème Avenue in Villejuif.

In the provinces, the first nine dealers selected by June 2007 will be as follows:

  • in Lille (Martine Fauvarque)
  • Trajectories in Bordeaux (François Royer)
  • at Lanester (56 – Emmanuelle Henry)
  • in Saint-Nazaire (44 – Samuel Thibault)
  • 3C Motos in Bayonne (64 – Benoît Clavère)
  • in Bourges (18 – Jean-Louis Ferrant)
  • in St-Miter-les-Remparts (13 – Christian Nivon)
  • Urvoas in Deville-les-Rouen (76 – Jacky Guyon)
  • at St-Martin d’Hères (38 – Gilles Bonjean)

Could also follow in a few months: in Chartres (28), in Perpignan (66), in Toulon (83), in Besançon (25), etc. Stay connected !

Eric MICHEL

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