Due to deliveries several weeks late, the Citroën Ami is experiencing a disastrous launch. To top it off, the car, which had everything to please, has a series of material defects. If Kenitra, the city of production of the vehicle has for a time been in the crosshairs of angry consumers, it seems that the responsibility is rather attributed to GEFCO, the transport company owned by PSA. Explanations.
With its atypical design, its low price and the possibility of driving it without a license from 14 years old, Citroën’s last electric city car had it all. However, its owners – or rather, its future owners – are far from being satisfied with their purchase. Incredibly long delivery times are blamed, these having been delayed by several months. Some users who ordered in the first days of its release, in August, still have not received their car.
The lucky ones who obtained the Friend indicated that the delivery could take up to 10 weeks late. A situation that could be blamed on the COVID-19 pandemic, which has certainly slowed down all global activity, but which has especially particularly affected Kénira, the Moroccan city where the construction plant is located of the car. 200,000 vehicles normally leave its production lines, of which 18,000 turn out to be the Friend. But the various lockdowns got the better of the plant’s capacities, which other suppliers do not seem able to catch up with.
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The Citroën Ami has many manufacturing defects
The troubles of Citroën (and users) unfortunately do not stop there. Broken locks, doors that do not close, ineffective sealing, defective handbrake, brake system to be replaced … The number is counted unusable equipment reported by customers. Some even said they encountered problems with the charger after just a few miles, which is one of the car’s main strengths. The latter has since been replaced thanks to a third party supplier.
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This accumulation could add to the causes of the late delivery of the Friend. Citroën would have decided to delay the shipment of its vehicles in order to correct the many faults encountered by the owners, preferring the bad publicity of an extended period to that of poor quality products. Here again, the health crisis is not an ally for the manufacturer, since many spare parts are unavailable because of the slowdown in production. Consequence: some vehicles sent for repair remain blocked at dealerships.
GEFCO, the real responsible?
Another lead suggests that the transport company GEFCO, 25% owned by PSA, would be largely responsible for this fiasco. Certain information indicates in particular that the company manages the entire logistics chain, from their manufacture in Morocco to their distribution in France. It would have taken care in particular of preparing the Citroën Ami for sale, by carrying out, among other things, the fitting of accessories and electronic diagnosis. It is in particular its role of correct faults encountered during the overhaul of the car.
Problem: because of confinement, GEFCO sent a large part of its employees partial unemployment, without worrying about the arrival of the Friend on the market. Some sources claim that the company managed to obtain government aid when it does not meet the necessary conditions. Furthermore a hack that took place at the end of September having greatly reached its production capacities. Finally, GEFCO being a port company in Le Havre, its activity is subject to the decisions of the local unions, who have made strike for several days during the last few months.
Towards a resolution of the situation
Fortunately, Citroën does not remain a spectator of this disaster, although no official announcement has yet been made on the subject. Since this month, the manufacturer has reportedly managed to bring its cars out of Le Havre, which has allowed some users to receive their order and other d‘Obtain a delivery date. Note that they noticed that the Friends were not delivered in chronological order of purchase.
Another cause for concern: their My Ami Care contract, costing € 10.80 for 1 year to € 594 for 5 years does still not subject to compensation for the time being. Indeed, the latter is in theory effective upon receipt of the gray card, received by the vast majority of sponsors, even if the car has not yet been delivered. For only answer, Citroën granted a voucher of 100 € in the Lifestyle store.
Source: Clean Automobile