Citroën has marked the opening of its centenary year by reporting an improving share of UK passenger car sales for 2019, despite a modest fall in the total number of cars sold.
Sales declined 3.6% to 49,618 units compared with an overall UK market decline of 6.8%, said British-born CEO Linda Jackson, while market share edged upward from 2.0 to 2.1%. Sales could have been stronger, admitted Jackson, but the company has concentrated recently on “profitable sales” in a market made more volatile than usual by Brexit uncertainties and exchange rate fluctuations.
Europe-wide performance for Citroën was strong in 2018: sales rose 5% to 825,000 units, just under 80% of its “stable” worldwide sales total of 1.05m units, that overall number held back slightly by a sharp fall in Chinese sales that affected all PSA marques. The European rise is Citroën’s fifth in succession and the highest total for seven years. European market share was 4.5% compared with 4.3% the previous year, and the company now has its eye on a 5% share for 2019.
Jackson said the improvements stress the continuing importance of Europe to Citroën’s overall business, and believes the policy of launching a range of new SUV models, most recent of which is the C5 Aircross, is “proof that we are on the right road”. Citroën plans to launch a special collection of centenary models this year and will show two concepts — an urban mobility proposal at Geneva in March, and a “ultra comfort” concept unveiled in May.
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