Citroën will launch three new saloon cars in the next two years, starting with a reinvented C6, marketing director Arnaud Belloni has confirmed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The move – in line with the firm’s heritage but against the trend of rivals’ plans in the face of declining saloon sales globally – is described as “unique but not risky” by Belloni, who hinted that the styling wouldn't follow established saloon conventions. The design study for the flagship new saloon was initially kick-started by the 2016 Cxperience concept.
The production car based on that concept has long been rumoured to be under preparation for sale, and it will be unveiled at the Paris motor show in 2020.
In a surprise announcement, however, Belloni said that two more saloon models will follow in 2021, with both being unveiled in full production form rather than as concepts.
“It's our belief that there's still a place for the saloon,” said Belloni. “When you factor in our pledge that all our cars will have either electric or plug-in hybrid options from next year, and the platform changes that brings, you then consider the opportunities that delivers for us to innovate stylistically.
“What I will promise you is that these will be cars in keeping with Citroën’s heritage for innovation. The rise of the SUV cannot be undone, but that gives us room to reimagine the the purpose and look of the saloon.
“I don't wish to use the word 'disruptive', as that can be misinterpreted, but I promise the look of these cars will be very original. Not risky – we must sell cars – but they will carry on our tradition for looking at new ways to interpret segments. They will be contemporary in the truest form of the word.”
Belloni wouldn't be drawn on the size of the cars, but he hinted that the focus would be the Chinese market – the world’s largest for sales of all cars, and one in which saloon sales remain strong, especially for chauffered cars.
“We will not make saloon cars of every size, because there is no market for small saloons,” he said.
Citroen currently sells the C4 saloon and C-Elysee in China, but at least two of the new saloons are believed to be planned for European sale.