2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
As a multi-brand car dealership in Germany, Kroymans continues to focus on growth. "In the near future we want to expand further in the German market in large city areas," said managing director Johannes Cürten of the Autogazette.
The multi-brand dealership Kroymans is expecting sales of 450 million euros this year. "The Kroymans dealerships will achieve around 18,500 sales in 2007 - that is an increase of 31 percent compared to the 14,400 from 2006," said the managing director of Kroymans Germany, Johannes Cürten, in an interview with Autogazette. However, due to the weak first half of the year, the targeted target of 20,000 units will be missed.
As Cürten added, the Kroymans dealerships will only participate in discount campaigns to a limited extent in view of the difficult market environment. «We face the price war, but we will never be the cheapest. The proven high quality of our support is experienced by the customer over the years. On the other hand, the occasional feeling of a supposedly tight-fisted price remains very short-lived if the focus is not on the customer - as is the case with us,”says Cürten.
Talking about clean separation
Autogazette: Mr. Cürten, you said that a key to success is the extensive and well-balanced brand portfolio. Why are you ending your contracts with SsangYong?
Johannes Cürten: First of all, I would like to state that the importer contract will not be extended by mutual agreement - we are talking about a clean separation. We see the fact that our brand portfolio changes as a normal process that ensures precisely this balance. We change our range of products after careful consideration if the framework conditions of a brand no longer fit.
Autogazette: A year ago SsangYong celebrated the tripling of sales in Germany. How does it come to termination?
Cürten: As already said, the framework conditions have changed.
Look for alternatives
Autogazette: Are there any efforts to include other brands at Kroymans to replace SsangYong?
Cürten: Kroymans currently has brands from almost every continent in its range. Of course we are also looking for alternatives. They could of course come from Asia again.
Autogazette: Does that mean that you are already talking to potential candidates?
Cürten: We are always in talks, otherwise we would be a standstill company - and we certainly are not.
Autogazette:Another brand in your portfolio is Cadillac. Sales are very slow. You have now taken new action with General Motors. Does Cadillac face the same fate as SsangYong if it does not succeed?
Cürten:When it comes to Cadillac, the Kroymans Corporation as a strategic partner of General Motors moves in a completely different environment. General Motors strongly supports the further development. At Cadillac we can be much more optimistic - also because of the new products such as the Cadillac CTS and the BLS Wagon. These are certainly vehicles that will help us. I want to make it clear that we estimate around 1,400 to 1,500 cars per year for Cadillac, Corvette and Hummer in Germany. You have to take a closer look here: if you compare this number with other brands such as Jaguar or Lexus, then we are on the right track. Because although Kroymans has only been importing these brands for a good three years, Cadillac, Corvette and Hummer already make up half of the volume of Jaguar and a third of Lexus, for example. Considering,We are not at all dissatisfied with the development that there are no huge budgets in the background.
«Promise further expansion»
Autogazette: How do you rate the standing of Kroymans as a quasi young entry-level compared to the competition?
Cürten: As a private company, we are already number 13 in the German market in the retail sector. We are now among the three most successful brands at most brands such as Ford, Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar, Saab and Cadillac / Corvette / Hummer. Here, too, there has been very good, lasting development in just three years - and I promise you that we will continue to expand.
Autogazette: How do customers even find their way to Kroymans? Why doesn't a Ford buyer go to a Ford dealer?
Cürten:We are, among other things, Ford dealers. From day one, we consistently placed the Kroymans brand in the foreground of our communication and dealership signaling. We are now represented at 17 locations in Germany and will continue to grow. In addition to the higher level of awareness of our good brand name, there are now awards from objective and independent bodies. We have just won three prizes in Berlin. The TÜV tested us undercover, as did the specialist magazine “auto motor und sport” - with top results! That proves that we are doing a lot right. We have been named Best Dealer by Ford. These awards do not fall from the sky, we ensure very good customer support and a very good service business. In addition, we offer an all-round package for customers from insurance and leasing to problem-free accident handling. That is exactly what we mean by our company motto: Kroymans more than cars.
«Face the price war»
Autogazette: Are you tempting with cheap offers or do you focus on pure quality?
Cürten: We face the price war, but we will never be the cheapest. The proven high quality of our support is experienced by the customer over the years. On the other hand, the occasional feeling of a supposed tight-fisted price remains very short-lived if the customer is not the main focus - as with us. At Kroymans there is the best price / performance ratio.
Autogazette: You rely on a strong dealer network as the key to success. Will you stick to the strategy of only being present in large cities? Or will there be aspirations to go to the provinces?
Cürten:No. We see ourselves as specialists for big cities - this is what our concept is based on and this is where we achieve our success. Our strategy has always been to go to the so-called metro areas in Germany with more than 500,000 inhabitants. As soon as we are anchored there, our proven concept takes effect. That is the strategy and will remain the strategy.
Autogazette: 2006 was dubbed a year of transition. In view of the sluggish German market, Kroymans cannot have any other goals in this either. Will the announced strong recovery fail?
Cürten:The first six months were indeed very difficult in the German market. We too have lost sales and earnings. We will not be able to compensate for this in the second half of the year either, although July and August were not bad. The Kroymans dealerships will achieve around 18,500 sales in 2007 - an increase of 31 percent compared to the 14,400 from 2006! We would certainly have liked to break the 20,000 mark as we had planned.
Very satisfied with Ford
Autogazette: Which brands and models are your top sellers?
Cürten: We are very satisfied with the Ford brand, which is developing very well in Berlin and the Ruhr area and is consistently maintaining and renewing its range of attractive models. We got off to a good start with the Nissan brand, for which we built our own car dealership at Moosacher Strasse 40 in Munich. We enjoy Alfa Romeo as much as we do Volvo. We are getting more and more into the market here. We are completely satisfied, but a little more is always possible.
Autogazette: That means that you set yourself higher goals for the coming year …
Cürten: … No doubt. In 2008 we have to compensate for what we lost in 2007. But a market that is declining by ten percent does not pass Kroymans either.
Autogazette: Do you see yourself as a pioneer with the Kroymans business model of offering multiple brands?
Cürten: There are already many imitators and we see that as a compliment and confirmation. We have already built up a certain lead that cannot simply be caught up. Our model already implements the future of retail today. We are firmly convinced of this, otherwise we wouldn't be building a new store with five brands in Berlin-Spandau.
Are put to the test every day
Autogazette: How many more locations do you want to open?
Cürten: In the near future, we want to continue expanding on the German market in metropolitan areas. But I don't want to talk about things until they are signed.
Autogazette: Do you see the “Best Ford Dealer” award as a slap in the face for authorized workshops ?
Cürten: Not at all. Many authorized workshops do a great job. We are very proud of this award, but we also know that it puts us on the test bench every day.
Autogazette: But why do you - as a relatively young company - receive this award and not the long -established companies, which should actually have an advantage?
Cürten: We had the advantage that we started practically on the greenfield with the Kroymans brand. We are free from things that could burden us and are set up with a very linear structure. With five people we control a company that will generate around 450 million euros in sales this year. Part of our concept is to put responsibility where it happens. The managing directors of our locations are real managing directors and not puppets that are controlled by the headquarters.
The interview with Johannes Cürten was conducted by Thomas Flehmer