PSA Peugeot Citroën chairman Philippe Varin believes that the plan to push Peugeot upmarket, Citroën into making simpler models and joint ventures with Toyota and General Motors can help to keep his corporation afloat.
Varin said that a brand repositioning at Peugeot will inject more “emotion” and personality into the Peugeot brand, a process that has started with the 208, 2008 and 308. “There will be an emphasis on French elegance and driving fun,” he said.
At the Frankfurt motor show next week, Citroën’s future as a maker of simple, user-friendly models (rather than a budget brand to rival Dacia) will be outlined with a new concept car called Cactus. This previews a new range of models called C-Line, the first of which is set to be a replacement for the C3. The C-Line models will sit alongside the premium DS models in Citroën’s range.
“There has been too much overlap between Peugeot and Citroën,” said Varin. “With Citroën’s C-Line, we recognise that customers don’t care about engines but want a car that’s simple to use, ‘smart’ and friendly — not a low-cost car but a high-value car which does things differently. The DS line is about French luxury and a brand in itself in China.”