an elite impossible to buy!

Citroën lit up the web by announcing the arrival of a small series version of the Ami Buggy. The planned 50 copies were all sold at a canon time. But not everything went as planned. Testimony.

The obsolescence of popular cars no longer kills, especially as some unloved ones make headlines on classified pages: Citroën BX, Renault 14, Porsche 924 or even Fiat Multipla see their popularity skyrocket. And therefore also their price in the used market. Performing on board one of these dream machines is now assumed and rented. Initially mocked, the Citroën Ami is already benefiting from this fad. Not exactly beautiful, devoid of any technique, it quickly became a cool and trendy item to have in your garage. Success is relative, as the Friend is a car without a driver’s license. But the results are just encouraging for a car that, as a general rule, is at the very bottom of the car industry’s charisma scale.

Bugatti Chiron does not do better

A proof of this aggravated modesty, which is assumed, Citroën launched a communication campaign not without self-loathing. Yes, the friend has nothing for her. And it is in this that it is ingenious, as we could have been BX and Multipla before it (the masses will only too late discover the genius of these cars). Without fear, the Double Chevron brand went further by presenting My Ami Buggy, which against all expectations had a production version. At least in small series, Citroën to do as the big ones by limiting production to only 50 copies. Enough to make the Ami Buggy a machine as exclusive as a Bugatti Chiron, at the other end of the car market and the French car market. Cock-a-doodle Doo!

The rooster crows also resound in the corridors of Rueil-Malmaison. At the end of an orchestrated online sale, Citroën welcomed the enthusiasm for its new beach star. With such a limited circulation, it can seem overwhelming to congratulate oneself on the lack of stock. But the results are there, especially for a city chip sold at a higher price of around 32.47%. That’s almost the price difference between an entry-level Bugatti Chiron and the super-powerful Super Sport. Especially when sales were accelerated: The mark indicates that the entire production found a buyer in 17 minutes and 28 seconds. L’Ami blushes, this is her first time she can brag. Almost three copies per minute? Molsheim in a dream.

Like this customer who was the fastest to withdraw his credit card on the internet by completing the entire buying process in 2’53. But why does Citroën find it so important to record customer performance through a “shopping trip”? Excited by this information, we were not long in understanding that it was actually an obstacle course to leave with a copy. This is what Christophe * told us (his first name has been changed, as they say in the major investigative newspapers).

Clear false starts

We are on June 21, late in the morning. The sun is beating down and the heat wave is at its strongest. But it’s not so much the exceptional weather that makes this potential Citroën customer hot and sweaty. Eyes riveted on the watch on his screen, the mouse in his clammy right hand, the credit card in his left hand, he is ready to draw to leave with an Ami Buggy. A mobility object with which he dreams of freshness, letting his lush hair live its best life on the edge of the beaches and continuing to ignore its 31,000 pending emails. It’s time, but nothing goes as planned.

From the start of the sale, the site of the French brand experienced damage. It is therefore impossible to register in proper form to access the dedicated platform. The client does not let it go, but decides to take another path: “You could put the car in the basket. But by being skilled as it was through the configurator I was able to do it », indicates the customer. Glimpses of hope, the procedure works, but an error message appears immediately. The time is 12:12, time is running out (see the screenshots made at this time).

At 12.13, Christophe decides to contact the hotline by phone for help or to try another method of leaving with a copy. But faced with high demand and apparent IT instability, customer service looks overwhelmed: “I called the hotline at 12.13 and they answered at 12.19 to tell me everything was sold out.”. A long wait that ends in one blow: move around, the yard is empty. Grief!

Citroën’s precision on their fastest customer performance makes sense, as a very large number of them, like Christophe, were probably unable to order a copy for a sad computer error. It also appears that these 17 minutes of sales correspond more to the time that the 50th customer had to spend before validating his order. It also means that if all the systems had kept their heads above water, Citroën could have sold its 50 Ami Buggy faster.

Also no Citroën Ami Buggy to Elon Musk

So what happened to Citroën? No one really wants to know. But it seems that the first ones served were able to connect to the platform before. False therefore starts, which created dissatisfaction. Admittedly, there should not only be satisfied people in this kind of sales where the supply is much lower than the demand. This is also one of the strategies of Ferrari and other exceptional manufacturers with their many special series: according to them, the frustration of customers who are left behind will force them to be the first to leave for the next sale. But Citroën is not Ferrari, and the frustration over a computer failure with a purely online sale will not force Christophe to hurry to the next draw.

Especially since there is now mistrust of this customer who wanted to buy a conventional Citroën Ami, but whose delivery time of seven months turned out to be far too long. Initially, the press release announced deliveries from August 8th. Just in time to enjoy it during the summer holidays. However, the configurator specified delivery dates for the month of September. At least in theory, the Citroën Ami is not known for meeting its delivery times. As such, let’s clarify that the French brand could attract the anger of customers who can not afford a Buggy with limited versatility (Friend, a luxury product?): This limited series would therefore not spend only two months to get their hands on the 50 customers, against five months more for the others!

Finally, while the Chevron brand was proud to indicate “VIP home delivery” (without indicating whether the operation is free or not), the brand quickly changed its slogans. The configurator is displayed “delivery not included” during the price overview, whereas a prior announcement presented the clause “home delivery not included” here again.

In any case, there is a serious difference between the self-proclaimed post-sale press release and the on-site reality according to this client’s documented testimony. Very quickly, Citroën rushed to launch an advertising campaign on print media (not everyone has the budget to afford a campaign for a car that is no longer for sale), where you could read “Sorry Elon, there’s at least one thing you can not afford”. In fact, even if he did, he could not have bought the Citroën Ami Buggy online in light of perfect IT and customer support …

Leave a Comment