In the second-hand market, a company’s longevity is no coincidence. This market is constantly evolving and its later years seem to lead to structural and evolutionary transformations. To find out for sure, we met Stéphane Chagnon, used vehicle sales manager and Nicolas Sacchetto, brand director of the Sofibrie Automobiles Group, used vehicle specialist for 60 years.
Can you introduce us to the Sofibrie Automobiles group?
Sofibrie Automobiles is above all a meeting between two men: Max Harvard and Joseph Marani. The story begins in 1962 and over time with the creation of the company Brie des Nations in 1981 the family business became Sofibrie Automobiles Group in 2019 without ever giving up its values. Today it is the 3rd generation that continues the development of a company that has always known how to take the time to build itself harmoniously, first in Île-de-France and, little by little, up to New Aquitaine.
The automotive world is constantly evolving and sustainability in the field of used vehicle sales is a real guarantee of trust for our customers. If family values are the cement that binds the 650 employees of the group, we have in our DNA a real second-hand culture and above all a deep passion for the car and associated services.
Today the Sofibrie group is growing with over 22,000 vehicles sold per year. In 2022 we offer our customers 14 brands in our 22 dealerships: Renault, Dacia, Alpine, Nissan, Suzuki, Hyundai, Mazda, Kia, Isuzu, Mitsubishi, Microcar, Ligier, Skoda and MG.
How does a group like yours adapt to the structural changes affecting the automotive world?
It is true that in the last 60 years the automotive world has experienced many revolutions that the Sofibrie Automobiles group has been able to support by proposing innovative solutions and adapting to consumer expectations: thinking about the customer is a top priority for us. This is why we have optimized our stores, in particular by grouping our brands: we have gained in organization, profitability and necessarily in the customer experience, offering a more diversified offer.
Adapting also means offering solutions to environmental challenges with a qualitative and quantitative fleet of electric and hybrid cars. We have also created two separate centers to optimize our purchases, but also the offer of our 22 dealerships.
The other important point was addressing the lack of used cars on the market by offering immediate buy-back solutions and developing with our financial partners our Rental Option to Purchase (LOA) solution for individuals and craftsmen / traders. The latter, in addition to attracting more and more the general public, allows us to recover used vehicles in perfect condition that come to furnish our used vehicle fleet.
It has been our secret for 60 years: transforming the constraints of the market into opportunities for the group. It is with this spirit that the Sofibrie Automobiles Group wanted to innovate by launching the 1st used and urban mobility exhibition in April 2022, in partnership with an eco-responsible company specializing in alternative mobility.
What types of used vehicles are available in your stock?
Our stock is designed to fit our customers’ expectations, but also their budget. We have recent cars with very low mileage, but also older used cars with up to 100,000km! As I told you, we have an excellent offer of electric and hybrid, but also diesel or petrol. From the family car to the coupé-convertible, our customers have a very wide choice: more than 1,500 used vehicles immediately available!
What services are available at Sofibrie Automobiles?
Our range of services has also diversified with the evolution of the market, such as our quick repair workshop, our mechanics and bodywork service. Our teams have developed interactive terminals for the distribution of spare parts. We have a customer relationship center that can answer all inquiries before, during and after the sale! And finally, our professional clients benefit from dedicated support!
What are your plans for 2022?
We wish to continue our development by remaining attentive to the opportunities in our various offices, in particular by strengthening our local realities to become the reference point in the sector. Today this is not enough and we must also meet the expectations of our customers, with an increasingly advanced digital journey that will be related to more and more aggressive marketing actions, to improve our visibility, but also to optimize the relationship with our customers. All these projects should allow us to be leaders in terms of sales and services in the territories of the Sofibrie Automobiles Group.