Growing demand for crossovers is eating into D-segment saloon sales; just 237 C5s sold in Britain last year

The Citroën C5 has been axed from the UK car market due to shrinking sales, with just 237 examples of the Ford Mondeo rival selling here last year.

Citroen C5 Aircross SUV to be revealed at Shanghai motor show

The 2015 figure represents 0.5% of the sales the C5 achieved in its best-selling period, 2001 to 2004, when 45,502 were delivered to British customers. UK sales for the model have been steadily declining since, and the latest Mk3 has sold just 17,105 units since its introduction in 2008.

Citroën cites the increasing popularity of crossovers and compact SUVs as the main cause for the model’s demise, and says D-segment sales now account for just 4% of the overall UK market.

Interestingly, demand for the C5 still remains strong in left-hand drive markets, with the model’s biggest sales achieved in its home market of France, where 6549 examples were delivered last year. However, that figure still represents just 20% of the sales achieved six years earlier, illustrating how the trend is not just a British one.

Citroën hasn’t confirmed if the C5 will be replaced when the current model’s production run comes to an end. Last year Autocar reported that the C5 could be reinvented in its next generation and earlier this year the car maker said it would be replacedbut latest trends suggest the model could now be dropped from Citroen’s line-up entirely.

The car maker thinks its C4 Picasso and Grand C4 Picasso models are now better placed to cater to the UK market, although global market demand suggests even MPVs such as these are under threat from the rapid growth in the popularity of crossovers.

SUVs and crossovers now account for one in four car sales in the European Union and the segment is the fastest growing in the world. Citroën will be better placed to take advantage of this change in the coming years, as it plans to introduce a new family of crossovers inspired by the look of the Aircross concept, which itself evolves the design of the C4 Cactus.

Our Verdict

Citroën C5

The spacious, comfortable Citroen C5 makes an interesting and off-beat Mondeo rival

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289

19 May 2016
Surprised that it has taken this long to throw in the towel....In fact surprised they even bothered to launch it in the UK.
No large (D segment) French cars have succeeded here in almost living memory.
I am not sure if the message isn't getting through or it is just French obstinacy which makes them continue to waste money in this way.

19 May 2016
289 wrote:

Surprised that it has taken this long to throw in the towel....In fact surprised they even bothered to launch it in the UK.
No large (D segment) French cars have succeeded here in almost living memory.
I am not sure if the message isn't getting through or it is just French obstinacy which makes them continue to waste money in this way.

I would imagine this depends upon how long you've been alive or how long your memory serves. The Peugeot 404 and especially the 504 and 405 were immensely popular in the UK, as was the Renault Laguna in its first generation guise.

As for French "obstinacy" ... as opposed to who else? I'd imagine many nations outside of Britain would draw up very different paradigms.

19 May 2016
Not forgetting the CX, very popular, and could be had with 7 seats in Estate guise. If memory serves me correctly, apart from the French, it was otherwise only Mercedes that had 7 seat options in their (larger) estates.

19 May 2016
I can't say I'm surprised the C5 will be axed from the UK. But what's more telling is that the current, Mk2, model just never took off in the UK at least, so I wouldn't say crossovers and SUVs are the reason for the car's demise especially as Citroen's own SUV effort, the C Crosser, didn't exactly over here in droves. There was just something about the current model which didn't register with buyers, perhaps it was the French-car-pretending-to-be-German theme. Although not C5 based, I've seen far more DS5 than C5s so maybe buyers wanted French cars to look and feel French? The same could be said for the current C3 compared to the DS3.

19 May 2016
Mitsubishi Outlander 95% daft to buy the 5% at a premium it doesnt deserve

what's life without imagination

20 May 2016
[quote=Lanehogger]I can't say I'm surprised the C5 will be axed from the UK. But what's more telling is that the current, Mk2, model just never took off in the UK at least, so I wouldn't say crossovers and SUVs are the reason for the car's demise especially as Citroen's own SUV effort, the C Crosser, didn't exactly over here in droves. There was just something about the current model which didn't register with buyers, perhaps it was the French-car-pretending-to-be-German theme.

I think that was a mistake. They would have been better pitching it as a French car with Japanese quality. French cars are often more reliable in fact than German ones, so a French car trying to be a German car isn't very appealing. The C5 is a pretty nice car actually.

19 May 2016
6549 sales in France last year is also pathetic. I imagine the related and newer Peugeot 508 will have stolen some of its sales.
The Xantia sold well, the right balance of Citroen individuality and conventional engineering

19 May 2016
1982 Ford Sierra Length 4394mm, Width 1672mm, Height 1362mm. 2016 Ford Focus Length 4358mm, Width 1823mm, Height 1469mm.

19 May 2016
No change in average height of people or the size of our roads, 1982 to 2016. Why don't people want D segment cars anymore? The mind boggles!

19 May 2016
Indeed - and that is why the current Mondeo, Vectra will be the last of their kind and it will follow the Carlton/Granada into the archives as there really isn't that much demand for a car that big (unless it has a BMW or Mercedes Badge on it). Ford and Vauxhall have of course already filled the hole created by ever growing size with the invention of the Ka and Adam\Viva models.

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