China to Become a Powerful Challenge, Says Fiat UK Boss
"Now is the time for European brands to position themselves ahead of the challenge that I believe will come from China in the future. The companies there are moving fast to acquire technology, develop better products and bring their brands to the international market," he told just-auto.com.
Fiat, however, managed to counteract the Chinese invasion and offer consumers the vehicles they need just at the right time, he explained.
"Turin took some persuading, but it was absolutely the right thing to do. We'd been chasing market share and doing unprofitable deals and it was right to get away from that and to focus on what we do well. We have also been able to capitalise on important new product and we have the right product at the right time to rebuild our image in a positive way with the retail customer," he explained.
As for the British market, Humberstone believes that working closely with dealers is a must-do nowadays.
"Dealers have to become true partners in our business and have common standards. And the return on sales has gone up from 0.9% last year to 1.4% this year. That's above the industry average and we're pleased with that, but look at that number."