Citroën boss says future models will follow the success of the C4 Cactus in offering stylish looks, while the brand will also grow its lease sales

Citroëns will be sold on style, comfort and technology in future - and not price - as the firm attempts to move away from the mainstream, according to boss Linda Jackson.

“Our products have to be different and make you feel good,” said Jackson. “Otherwise you have to compete on price, and we don't want to do that any more.”

Speaking to Autocar at the Geneva motor show, Jackson highlighted the success of the Citroën C4 Cactus as the key example of where she wanted the brand to go, but she emphasised that not every new vehicle would be so extreme in its looks.

“The minute you see one of our cars, you must know it's a Citroën,” said Jackson. “That doesn't mean they'll all look the same - although there will be a coherence - but they must be striking, they must put an emphasis on comfortable ride and they must offer technology that people use, to make their lives better.”

Citroën will push monthly leasing harder around the world too, including its Simply Drive and Flexi Drive schemes, which bundle lease costs with insurance and other overheads for a fixed monthly fee. Both schemes are expected to be launched in the UK.

“If you add benefits then it helps strengthen pricing,” said Jackson. “'We saw that happen in the UK with the growth of PCP sales and - in certain regions - we see more opportunity.”

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Comments
10

9 March 2015
It will not be easy to reverse decades of piling them high and selling them cheap. And with two of the other PSA brands chasing premium, style and comfort, why not allow Citroen to continue at the budget high volume end of the market? I suspect that while the group has clear plans for Peugeot and DS, it really doesn't know what to do with Citroen.

9 March 2015
Not sure what the definition of mainstream is....Vauxhall are "moving away" from mainstream with new "funky" models, FIAT have declared they are no longer a mainstream mass market manufacturer, now Citroen are attempting to move away from "mainstream". If defining mainstream we are talking volume then VW,BMW,Audi, Mercedes are mainstream manufacturers. but is this not who the others are trying to copy?

9 March 2015
About bloody time, just hope it is not too late.

 

I'm a disillusioned former Citroëniste.

9 March 2015
Here's an additional thought. As well as style, from the company whose brand ranked number 22 out of 26 among the last JD Power survey and whose models came in at numbers 21, 74, 79. 93, 100, 103 and 105 out of 109 in total, what about selling on quality? It's not hard to see the dishonest appeal to emotions, feelings and senses in an attempt to disguise poor value for money and quality but other than for reasons of upfront discounts, there is no reason to buy one of these. Interesting how companies use unmeasured expressions like "feel good" to describe second-rate. Buy a German or Japanese car and get style, comfort and technology without breakdowns and awful depreciation. They might spend a decade doing what Skoda, Lexus, Jaguar and Kia have done and then they might gain credibility. Otherwise, just tinny old Citroens, at their best in 1955.

9 March 2015
rmcondo wrote:

Buy a German or Japanese car and get style, comfort and technology without breakdowns and awful depreciation.

what a complete load of cobblers.
Unfortunately Citroen are jumping on the 'premium' bandwagon as Kia etc chase their value offerings. Citroen should push their styling (as they've done with the Cactus to great effect) but leave the solid and boring mainstream to Volkswagen and Skoda. Don't try and change your character..

9 March 2015
rmcondo wrote:

Here's an additional thought. As well as style, from the company whose brand ranked number 22 out of 26 among the last JD Power survey and whose models came in at numbers 21, 74, 79. 93, 100, 103 and 105 out of 109 in total, what about selling on quality? It's not hard to see the dishonest appeal to emotions, feelings and senses in an attempt to disguise poor value for money and quality but other than for reasons of upfront discounts, there is no reason to buy one of these. Interesting how companies use unmeasured expressions like "feel good" to describe second-rate. Buy a German or Japanese car and get style, comfort and technology without breakdowns and awful depreciation. They might spend a decade doing what Skoda, Lexus, Jaguar and Kia have done and then they might gain credibility. Otherwise, just tinny old Citroens, at their best in 1955.

Everyone knows JD Power is a subjective exercise in box ticking with many of the questions not relating to reliability or quality. As for German cars, VAG group are no more reliable than many 'lesser' brands. In fact Autojournal rated Audi worst for reliability based on warranty claims and roadside assistance call outs. Fancy dashboard plastics do not a reliable car make.

9 March 2015
rmcondo wrote:

Here's an additional thought. As well as style, from the company whose brand ranked number 22 out of 26 among the last JD Power survey and whose models came in at numbers 21, 74, 79. 93, 100, 103 and 105 out of 109 in total, what about selling on quality? It's not hard to see the dishonest appeal to emotions, feelings and senses in an attempt to disguise poor value for money and quality but other than for reasons of upfront discounts, there is no reason to buy one of these. Interesting how companies use unmeasured expressions like "feel good" to describe second-rate. Buy a German or Japanese car and get style, comfort and technology without breakdowns and awful depreciation. They might spend a decade doing what Skoda, Lexus, Jaguar and Kia have done and then they might gain credibility. Otherwise, just tinny old Citroens, at their best in 1955.

If you knew what you were talking about, you'd know that the DS3 was the best small car in the JD Power Survey in 2013. Citroen do have work to do with their dealer network and certain models in the range, but it's clear that they are very much moving in the right direction. They are no longer poor quality (I can vouch for that as I pass 35,000 miles in an 18 month old DS3 - it feels as good as new). I can't think of many Japanese cars I would consider (aside from the new Mazda 2). It has never broken down and its ride is considerably more comfortable than our other car - an Octavia. Describing Citroens as "tinny" in 2015 is like snobbery towards the North.


"Work hard and be nice to people"

9 March 2015
When it was introduced,Citroen said they wouldn't discount the DS3 in the same way they had been doing for years, but that lasted about 5 mins. Will they really be able to break the tradition?

10 March 2015
Really? It's not exactly littering the streets; is it such a success thus far?

10 March 2015
Stating the cactus as the example to follow is fine for styling purposes as it really stands out but isn't it criticised for having a harsh ride? A shame as with a nice ride and going against the obsession with sports handling could well be a way of differentiating your car's from the rest of the herd.

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