First C-line model is to be shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show

The first of Citroën's C-line cars will be shown at the Frankfurt motor show next month, according to company sources.

The C-line will mark a revolution for Citroën in recasting itself as a value brand that will offer simplicity and be pitched at customers who "seek a balance between cost and functionality".

The first C-line model, which is expected to replace the ageing C3 supermini, will feature "bold" styling but will also be inspired by the stripped-out simplicity of 2010's Lacoste concept. Autocar has learned that the C-line look is to be rolled out across the rest of the Citroën range "as quickly as possible". 

Last year Citroën CEO Frédéric Banzet described the C-line as "competitively priced", rather than a direct rival for budget brand Dacia. Manufacturing costs will also be held down by reducing the number of drivetrain and trim options offered.

However, C-line buyers will also be able to customise their car with options such as a large touchscreen and upgraded sound system. Many of these options could be dealer-fitted, further reducing costs for Citroën and reducing delivery times.

Banzet also said the arrival of the C-line would be the last link in the chain of repositioning PSA's three brands. Peugeot will compete against Volkswagen in the 'premium mainstream' market and Citroën will slot in between Dacia and mainstream brands such as Ford, with Citroën's DS arm a 'near premium' brand in its own right.

Last May Citroën also announced that it was separating its design department into two divisions: a new DS studio led by Thierry Métroz, and the C-line studio working under Alexandre Malval.

Malval revealed that part of the C-line philosophy would be to emphasise "ease of use and simplicity". Interestingly, future DS models will drop the distinctive Citroën chevron and develop its own, unique grille styling to distinguish the new brand.

Click here for more Frankfurt Motor Show news.

Our Verdict

The Citroën C3 is a competent and interesting supermini, but it doesn’t hit any high notes

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Comments
16

10 August 2013

The C3 ageing compared to the C1.

10 August 2013

Replacing the C1 might be the falling block in this C-line brand. You can simplify the rest of the range easily enough but when the Aygo and 107 share the same DNA it makes me wonder if it's actually worth it for Citroen.

owenmahamilton wrote:

The C3 ageing compared to the C1.

I don't think there's enough things to age in a C1!

10 August 2013

that the 'revolution' bears no resemblance to the pic at the top of this thread.

I wonder if they could fit air bags to a 2CV

10 August 2013

I suspect there are many who would see the Citroen brand as more prestigious than that of Peugeot.

One might have progressively envisaged all Citroen models as "DS", therefore having executive status while Peugeot, at a lower level would be the family/fleet brand.

In addition they have to factor in their relative brand status in the context of Chevrolet and Opel/Vauxhall/Buick, perhaps even Cadillac.

Sounds as if maybe they haven't thought it through.

10 August 2013

rmcondo wrote:

I suspect there are many who would see the Citroen brand as more prestigious than that of Peugeot.

One might have progressively envisaged all Citroen models as "DS", therefore having executive status while Peugeot, at a lower level would be the family/fleet brand.

In addition they have to factor in their relative brand status in the context of Chevrolet and Opel/Vauxhall/Buick, perhaps even Cadillac.

Sounds as if maybe they haven't thought it through.

 

Your not alone with your suspicions.

Seems to me that PSA has not thought through their business plan. Or been to heavily influenced by the Peugeot family, whom naturally would want Peugeot to be the presige brand, when its further behind in its ambitions than BMW was with Rover all those years ago, and despite £3-4 billion being spent, we all know what happened there!

PSA has simular issues to Rover, old factory's, declining marketshare in the west at least, and poor image.

I'd imagine PSA, like Rover did, has big pension/debt liabilities, capacity to build far more cars than the real world demands, along with to big a workforce, all unionised of course.

 

 

 

10 August 2013

You could argue that the C-Elysee is the first in this line of simplified C models. But it does make for a messy range. Are the new C4 Picassos supposed to be simple/basic? Will they need to add a parallel line to the Cs, or rebadge the Picassos as DSs?

10 August 2013

The way I understand it, we will see Citroen as a budget brand and DS being the just under premium brand.  We'll have Citroen C-Line and Citroen DS from now on then?

They are going to have to be very careful of is marketing the brand / brands.  It's all a bit too close and I can see the general public getting very confused if it isn't handled correctly.

Tuga is right, it is also going to leave their strong selling Picasso products in a very strange position.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

10 August 2013

Simplifying mainline Citroens to create this new C-lne of cars is going to be complicated. As others have pointed out, what do you do about the latest C4 Picasso models that look far from basic ?  Re-brand as DS, or will that dilute the hoped for prestige of that range ?  I read elsewhere that Citroen plan to drop the Citroen chevron badges and styling cues from the DS range and evolve the DS insignia into a proper brand badge that will stand on its own.

I can see the appeal of a modern uncomplicated range such as the C-line cars may become, modern cars are too complicated/technology packed/expensive in many eyes and a 21st century take on the 2CV could become very popular I think, if the price was right and it looked good, however quirky, and was practical.

I hope PSA don't run out of money before they can achieve their aim of re-positioning their two brands and make the two (or three) ranges successful again. It would be a shame to see such previously innovative brands fall into the hands of someone like GM.


Enjoying a Fabia VRs - affordable performance

10 August 2013

Great!

Just found my goddaughters' Christmas present!

Don't see any pedals, so is it battery powered?

Will the box it arrives in prove more compelling than the car itself?

Will it ruin all of my skirt boards?

 

 

11 August 2013

If they are going to separate the two, they need to sort out their dealerships. To have the basic C-Line range selling along side the DS range will not allow the DS range to move upmarket. I remember going to buy a new car, and looked at DS3, Mini, and Abarth 500. Bought the MINI in the end, the deal was right (Abarth was via Arnold Clarke who's fanance rate was 13.1%) and the citreon just felt, to me, like a sparkly version of the C3, and not special enough, with a cheap interior, especially on the lower half. The dealership was awful as well, especially compared to the lovely MINI garage right next door. This will certainly put off many potential buyers of DS range of cars.

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10 years of Smart ownership over, sensible car mode activated

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