Please provide us with a brief overview of the company?
We are a known lifestyle holding company with operations based in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Kuwait, Geneva, and London, USA and Far East. Pegasus Automotive owns several of the world’s leading brands in the field of luxury products–our strengths are in the automotive and retail industries as Pegasus Automotive Group.
Some of the iconic brands that we represent include Aston Martin, Rolls Royce Motor Cars, Koenigsegg, Sports Classics Heritage, Bizzarrini and more to come. We know the long line of heritage that these brands carry, which is why our business philosophy is focused on the continuing pursuit of excellence and the provision of the finest retail customer experience.
How has the coronavirus (COVID-19) affected the operations of the Pegasus Automotive Group? What is your game plan in terms of providing key customer support amidst these challenging times?
The emergence of COVID-19 early last year has affected all industry verticals–including the automotive segment and the entire retail business as a whole. Various markets experienced a decline, but the challenge at hand was how do you maintain one’s connection with the customer.
Despite the pandemic, the interest in cars did not wane, but we had to think out of the box and utilize innovation to keep the emotional connection with our clients. To address this concern, we placed concentration on reinforcing our digital capabilities to creatively engage our customers. We brought the showroom experience on virtual platforms to get a closer look of their preferred models, while they were in the comfort of their own homes. We conducted virtual sales consultations via online platforms and we even walked the extra mile by sending the car to their home upon request, including test driving the vehicle.
Our forward looking efforts resulted in positive outcomes for the company. In fact, some of the last cars that we were able to sell were actually completed via our virtual consultation service.
From a long term perspective, what impact will COVID-19 leave on the industry?
As earlier stated, the pandemic has managed to affect various industry verticals. As a recourse, it was just practical for companies like us to look for new marketing solutions that can help in maintain sales ratios within the automotive sector–which is why efforts towards digitalization and the implementation of innovative marketing approaches were used. Again, the excellent car sales we were able to post last year is attributed to our virtual sales consultation service.
Despite the importance of traditional marketing and sales operations in the automotive sector, e-business has become more popular among customers during this difficult period. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that this type of trade provides an effective means to maintain customer participation and sustainability. Although virtual showrooms are popular with online sales, they still cannot replace real showrooms. It can be said here that the traditional and electronic processes at the level of marketing and sales complement each other.
As part of the ongoing efforts to address the impact made by the pandemic, what kind of strategy and forward planning should leaders be thinking about now?
Today’s crop of business leaders should know that speed is the name of the game–they should act swiftly and also be decisive in the process. Their thinking should not just be for the good of the company but also for the industry as a whole as well.
In dealing with the pandemic, we focused on closely monitoring macroeconomic indicators and changes in consumer behavior; constantly reviewing our contingency plans as new information becomes available; exercising rigor in managing our finances and utmost prudence on cost reductions.
The company continues to practice innovation in implementing its sales approaches. We continue to remain active and prepare our operations for recovery by taking these critical steps in promoting a safe working environment.
Name some of your best selling cars in the region.
The Aston Martin DB 11 is our best seller here in the UAE. The DBX, Aston Martin’s first luxury SUV, recently arrived and is already matching our positive expectations for its entry into the market. In my opinion, the DBX will take up a significant share in the market.
Please share more details about DBX. What should we look forward to and how will it fare against the competition?
The DBX, Aston Martin’s first luxury SUV has been very well received by the market. It is seen as an important model for Aston Martin and is currently being offered at prices starting from AED 917,000 including VAT.
The body structure of this new SUV was built utilizing a bonded aluminum construction method, which is both light and stiff and helps keep the overall kerb weight to 2,245 kilograms. Its power comes from the same 4.0-liter, twin turbocharged V8 engine, churning out 550 horsepower and 700Nm of torque, which can help propel the SUV from 0 to 100 Kph in just over 4.5 seconds with a top speed of 181 Mph (291 Kph). The DBX also comes with an adaptive triple volume air suspension and is integrated with the latest 48v electric anti-roll control system and electronic adaptive dampers. The suspension allows ride height to be increased by 45 mm or lowered by 50 mm, which further adds to the DBX’s capability to take on a wide range of terrain.
The debut of the DBX in Dubai demonstrates Pegasus Automotive Group’s continuous commitment towards bringing leading luxury brands like Aston Martin closer to their customers, while also promising a memorable and holistic customer experience.
What are your insights for 2021—will you be launching anything in the next few months?
The impact left behind by COVID-19 was harsh but offered a beneficial experience for the auto sector–with brands in this sector proving their ability to emerge from the crisis stronger than before. We are now seeing the advent of the auto market recovery in the UAE, following the partial lifting of the restrictions imposed due to the repercussions caused by the pandemic, as we expect the coming period to witness a promising recovery phase in which this sector returns to its usual levels of growth.
At Pegasus, we are now looking into delivering the best service to our customers–bringing them a key customer experience that is truly unique and unforgettable. We have exciting plans for 2021, which we will be announcing in due time.
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