Currently reading: Future Citroen models to straddle multiple segments
Strategy boss Laurence Hansen says customers are focused on what they need in a car

Citroën will continue to challenge current vehicle categorisation to ensure that it remains "future-proof", even if that means taking risks, according to its strategy boss.

The French firm, part of the Stellantis empire, has recently launched the Citroën C4 X, which fuses elements of a fastback, saloon and SUV. It follows the similar Citroën C5 X and the Citroën C4, an SUV-styled hatchback, along with the Ami electric quadricycle.

While SUVs continue to dominate sales charts, Citroën strategy boss Laurence Hansen believes that customers are increasingly focused on the features they need in a car, rather than it following a particular trend.

“We love to look at problems, put it in a different way and propose a solution,” said Hansen. “We won’t do that on all of our traditional cars, but in each segment we will have a proposal that's slightly different from our competitors in terms of how we see mobility – because our customers are quite different.”

Hansen said that that Citroën customers tend to be family buyers looking for comparatively affordable solutions and are “prone to go electric more than others, because they care for the planet”.

Citroen c4 2021 rt 0

Hansen said that with the C4, C4 X and C5 X, Citroën now has a full range of C-segment models, adding: “In the B-segment, we need an electric proposal, so we will renew the C3 and C3 Aircross, and they will be electric of course.”

But Hansen said that Citroën won’t necessarily produce cars that fit traditional categories.

“People look at size first,” said Hansen. “You could be traditional and say 'I want a small, medium or big car', but you could also say ‘I need comfort, space and a BEV'. What then?

"People buy the car because they like the styling. Usually when you come to a brand, you come for the styling and maybe for the size, but you can see many compromises.

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“If we stay to the current categorisation of vehicles, we won't be future-proof, for sure. For example, what is a cross SUV? There could be many answers, so the real question is what does the customer want in terms of USPs and features? Then we can imagine something.”

Hansen added that approach reflects the firm’s heritage as “a brand that challenges the norm”, adding: “When you challenge the norm, sometimes you do success and sometimes you do failure.”

Citroen ami in london front three quarters on piccadilly circus

Despite the risk of failure, Hansen said that approach is key to Citroën standing out against its rivals. She said: “We did the Ami, and nobody else would have bet on the Ami. And it has proven to be a great success.

“If you look at the Stellantis portfolio, you sometimes need a relative that is a little crazy and can think of different things. Look at the CV 20 concept car [an electric skateboard platform concept]: who else but Citroën could have asked that question? We have something to say: we proposed a solution, and we love to do so, because that's creativity, and creativity is in Citroën's DNA.”

Hansen said that future Citroën models will continue to focus on the brand’s comfort features and showcase an attitude of well-being, mixed with “a touch of humour, a touch of fantasy”.

James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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Commenter 4 July 2022
Legacy SUS type of car the entire range of Citroen ensures it would not be mistaken for fiat which may choose to have many of its cars with round exterior like the 500
Zeddy 4 July 2022
"you sometimes need a relative that is a little crazy"

The old uncle that gets mentioned under the breath and no one wants to visit?

Andrew1 4 July 2022
OK, but the problem is Citroen is changing its strategy more often than some people change their socks. I can still remember they stories they told when they launched the C5, then the Cactus, then the new C4...