The French firm's new chief executive officer, Linda Jackson, believes her experience of running Citroen UK will give her a head start in her new role

Incoming Citroën boss Linda Jackson plans to use the experience of her successful tenure leading Citroën’s UK operations to grow the brand internationally and return it to profit.

Jackson will take over from Frederic Banzet on June 1 and is tasked with implementing the ‘Back in the Race’ turnaround plan, the brainchild of new PSA Peugeot-Citroën boss Carlos Tavares.

Speaking to Autocar at the inaugural Autocar Stars event in London last week, Jackson believes it was her track record of success for Citroën in the UK and 35 years of experience in the automotive industry working for several different brands that landed her the top job in Paris.

Citroën UK and Ireland boss since 2010, Jackson said her plan was to build the brand, improve customer satisfaction and boost dealer profitability.

“We need make money and be profitable, so we moved away from the discounting and worked on improving residual values,” she said.

Jackson worked closely with dealers to eradicate Citroën's discounting culture and moved away from unprofitable fleet deals, instead focusing on selling models to private customers on more profitable finance deals.

Citroën’s UK sales were up six per cent last year to 78,358 units, the latest in a series of rises since Jackson took over. The profitable DS3 in particular is a big seller for the brand.

This success has been noted by Tavares, who has now appointed her to the top job in Paris. Jackson describes Tavares’ Back in the Race’ plan as “incredibly detailed” and her job will be to “define the plan and align it to strategy”.

She will oversee the imminent launch of Citroën’s innovative new C4 Cactus model and the new C1, models she describes as “the definition of what Citroën wants to be”. 

“Citroëns are about creative design and innovative, useful technology, and being comfortable,” she said. “It is in our DNA to innovate.

“Citroëns are also affordable for mainstream customers,” she added, stating that the firm would explore new sales schemes such as “pay as you drive or pay as you go” to allow a buyer to “best utilise their budget”.

Jackson has previously worked in Paris and believes that having her “Anglo Saxon, British way of doing things will be a good thing in a diverse French company”. 

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Comments
6

12 May 2014
I've driven Citroens for nearly 30 years, but it's hard to find anything in the current range. They need real Citroens with real Citroen suspension.

12 May 2014
Chris576 wrote:

They need real Citroens with real Citroen suspension.

If you mean their hydro-pneumatic system, then sadly I fear it's not going to happen. Citroen seem to have lost interest in it even if it would be ideally suited to MPVs etc. The DS5 apparently is still spoilt by an indifferent ride even after some recent fettling,but it looks like it will never get the proper suspension it needs to complement its futuristic styling and give it a much needed Unique Selling Point. I guess hydro-pneumatic suspensions are just too expensive to be "affordable for mainstream customers".

12 May 2014
“Citroëns are about creative design and innovative, useful technology, and being comfortable,” she said.

And Being Comfortable.

That's not 'and being comfortable relative to Teutonic granite', it's an absolute and it should surpass anything else on the road. It's not an afterthought, it's why a lot of people bought them in the first place. I wonder when she last rode in a DS23.

12 May 2014
Sadly the average person is scared of the hydropneumatic system, thinking it is complex (which it is, but then most modern suspension systems are!), unreliable (my Xantia never had an issue), dangerous when failed (the Xantia was the last Citroen to have all hydraulics driven from the hydropneumatic system, even it had a reserve if the suspension failed you still had brakes), and difficult to service (I renewed mine as easily as 4 oil filters - not something you could say about renewing springs!).

Sadly I didn't take to the mk1 C5 and haven't had a Citroen since. Most of the new C5s to fleets etc. use springs, and the DS5 has ridiculously German stiff suspension.

Unfortunately, as the C6 shows, proper big Citroens just don't sell.

12 May 2014
I think there's more to this, frequently when a native is replaced by a non-native it's for a particular purpose and for a limited time - i.e. to cut jobs and shut plants. Long overdue in the French industry.

13 May 2014
If you have, then I can accept your point of view. If not, then this comes under the heading of "received opinion". There is a plethora of such about!

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