Jean-Claude Hogrel (CNPA): many professionals have cash flow problems
The new president of the two-wheeler branch of the CNPA, Jean-Claude Hogrel, took advantage of the JPMS 2012 to visit the Site stand. The opportunity to get to know each other and recall the missions of the employers’ organization.
The youngest of us don’t necessarily know it, but Jean-Claude Hogrel was first an international speed driver: "I obtained the title of champion of France 250 Inter in 1975, then I rode in Grand-Prix 250, 350 and 500 cc, in particular on the HO But", he reminds us.
At the end of a 1978 season "full of galleys", Jean-Claude Hogrel put an end to his career as a pilot and became an instructor for the CFM piloting school for ten years. In 1988, he changed his cap again but remained faithful to his passion by taking charge of the Yamaha stores Patrick Pons.
Until 1995, he therefore managed no less than eight stores and 60 employees who sold an average of 3,000 new motorcycles each year. In 1996 he set up his own Yamaha dealership, Planet Motor in Cachan (94), and eight years later that of Spirit Motor in La Ciotat (13).
Today responsible for two concessions in the south of France (La Ciotat and Aix-en-Provence), Jean-Claude Hogrel also takes on the costume of president of the two (and three!) Wheel branch of the National Council of the automobile (CPNA) following Luc Forestier. Interview…
Site: Can you remind our readers what the CNPA is? ?
Jean-Claude Hogrel: The National Council of Automobile Professionals is a very large factory which is subdivided into 20 branches, including that of two and three wheels that I chair. But there are also those dedicated to bodybuilders, driver training, repair shops, technical control, heavy goods vehicles, etc. It’s very large !
MNC: What are its missions ?
J-C. H .: The main mission of the CNPA is to defend the profession in the broad sense, from a legal point of view but also legislative or social. The CNPA is in permanent contact with the public authorities, from local to European level. It ensures that regulatory changes are in line with the constraints related to our businesses. We also provide services or advice on labor law, social security, URSSAF, etc. We can intervene in any disputes with customers, administration or suppliers. Finally, we analyze market trends and try to establish perspectives to help pros make good decisions about their future..
MNC: What is the number of motorcycle and scooter professionals in France? ?
J-C. H .:
There are approximately 4,500 sales and repair stores, representing approximately 14,500 employees. Be careful not to fall into Parisianism: it is not only the beautiful concessions of the Grande Armée! Among our 1400 members, we count many small garages managed by a single person or by a couple. They require special support and attention, because after their entire day of work spent in the workshop, they do not always have the time to learn about new legislation or the courage to look into their accounts. We are also working on the arduousness of the work.
MNC: Is the number of professionals declining ?
J-C. H .: Yes, definitely. As you know, the NV market (new vehicles, editor’s note) has been declining overall for a few years and the same is true for the equipment, accessories and maintenance markets. Used vehicle sales (used vehicles, Editor’s note) represent more than double that of VN, but less than 50% go through professionals despite their warranty and the fact that in general, the prices are more interesting in store because they come from a real professional rating, and not from the rating "love" of the particular.
MNC: What are the big files that you have had to deal with since your election in July? Technical control for two-wheelers ?
J-C. H .: Technical control is indeed topical, but it is a question which is managed by another branch of the CNPA.
MNC: What worries you the most ?
J-C. H .: I do not choose the subjects covered, and I am not on them full time, unlike in the office. But from a personal point of view, more than the purely technical questions of our professions, it is the financial and social aspects that are important to me. What is important to me is to support the financial health of institutions! The 125 market represents a significant volume of NV sales, yet it plunged again by -18% in 2011. Large engines fared better, but this does not prevent many professionals from suffering from cash flow problems. … Especially in winter !
MNC: What solutions can you bring them? ?
J-C. H .: We try to make the banks understand that our activity is seasonal, and that the garage which is in the red in January will undoubtedly be in the green in May! On the other hand, few dealers know it, but they can call on Oséo if necessary: it is a company majority owned by the State, which offers financing to SMEs and VSEs. However, bankers sometimes forget to mention it … We also note that in general, entrepreneurs have difficulty admitting that they are in trouble. We must not! The sooner we intervene, the greater the chances of getting off to a good start.
MNC: You also interact with manufacturers and importers ?
J-C. H .: Of course. We are in constant contact with them, and we take the opportunity to remind them from time to time that a brand, even the best, should not neglect its distributors. Some builders may be too demanding of small structures. We make sure there is no abuse.
MNC: And what are your relations with the public authorities? ?
J-C. H .: They are good. I was able to talk to Jean-Luc Névache (the interministerial delegate for road safety, editor’s note) on several occasions and he seemed receptive to our messages. The government is also listening … but it seems that elections will soon be held in France ?!
MNC: In your opinion, how will the market evolve in the medium term? ?
J-C. H .: The drop in registrations of 125 is clearly due to the mandatory 7-hour training. However, at my great age (he is rolling towards his 60s, editor’s note), we know that the 125s often do the yoyo. The regulations and the economy are difficult today, but it will start again in two years. During hard knocks, the structures are reduced but they then take off again. Among large cubes, I would not dare to pronounce myself because I am often wrong … Who could have said a few years ago that the maxiscooters would work so hard today, and that more and more brands are would interest ?
Interview by Matthieu BRETILLE
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