After the rebuild, Citroen is ready to conquer again
A new logo for a new story… For its part, Citroën is updating its emblem, taking features of the badge of the past for a new retro-modern signature. Style effect? In fact, the brand, which celebrates its centenary in 2019, is about to embark on a new phase in its reconquest strategy after almost a decade of restructuring.
The new C4 completed the cycle of the new Citroen
After overhauling its range in Europe, not without success, Citroën is set to renew its catalog, further tightening its plug in its repositioning strategy. Launched in 2016, the new C3 effectively signaled a brand that wanted to be popular and optimistic with its colors and curves. It was about rebuilding an accessible brand that wasn’t entry-level. A message that was not so clear after a few years of procrastination, but later became clear with the arrival of well-designed SUVs such as the C3 Aircross, but above all the C5 Aircross, more families and the cheaper Peugeot 3008. But it was the arrival of the new C4 that completed this repositioning strategy.
Launched in 2021, this new compact has divided the specialist press as it marvels at its proportions and stylistic bias. At the time, Citroën was the first generic brand to introduce a coupé crossover to its range, slightly ahead of Renault and Arkana. As such, the new C4 stands out as a competitive and distinctive compact model, given its divisive edge to challenge a fairly refined segment dominated by the Volkswagen Golf and its antediluvian stylistic conceit.
Also read Citroen’s new C3, a weapon of conquest in developing countries
It was Carlos Tavares who implemented this strategy after taking over PSA in June 2014 (it became Stellantis after its merger with Fiat Chrysler in 2021). The shock boss then decided to spin off Citroën’s premium line, called DS, to make it a separate brand, asking Chevron to reinvent new brand territory that was no longer in Peugeot’s flowerbeds, but not in Arles at the time for the PSA group.
Currently, Citroën is struggling to reap the benefits of this strategy due to the semiconductor crisis. Production of the C5 Aircross has been halted several times due to parts shortages… Thus, sales have declined in the first half of the year. Nevertheless, the brand boasts a well-equipped order book. C4 is the brand’s second best-selling car. Even better, it is the first in the segment in an electric version in France. For Citroen, this is a very encouraging prestige victory. It demonstrates that the components of the Citroën brand’s new identity are working. Herringbones has found its place in the European car market, and customers are en masse buying its new brand universe, preferring the highest trim levels. Ami’s success also reinforces its position as a bold brand. This quadricycle (unlicensed vehicle) is selling like hotcakes.
Double sales in 2025
But now that it has repositioned itself, Citroën needs to go further in its range if it wants to regain its previous market share. It should be recalled that the French brand’s market share in Europe in 2007 fell from about 7% to 3.5% in 2019. The goal is to reach sales of 1.5 million units in 2025. .. almost double the 2021 sales (800,000) .
Admittedly, the brand led by Vincent Cobée does not want to chase volumes, but nevertheless, if it wants to strengthen the virtuous dynamics of residual value, which is the real key to quality sales, it will have to deepen its style identity and improve its brand universe. . Oli concept wants to give an overview of the new codes that will adorn the future range. “Citroën is in the process of transitioning to an era of carbon neutrality, digitization, and at the same time close to the people… This philosophy, both bold and reliable, is embodied through the Oli concept,” explains Arnaud Ribault, head of sales in Europe. (see photo above).
A series dedicated to developing countries
But the challenge for Citroen is also to get out of dependence on the European market. In 2021, the Old Continent accounted for almost 80% of sales. The Chevron brand has faced major setbacks over the past ten years: sales collapse in China, forced abandonment of the Iranian market… To respond to this problem, Citroën decided to change tactics and program a specific range for developing countries. So a special C3 just went on sale in India before landing in Latin America. A total of three models will be launched for these very important markets, but they are locked into the overpriced positions of the classic herringbone range.
Citroën is at a crossroads: trying to establish itself in Europe and finally go international. While Stellantis prepares to order the removal from China, Citroen should be more on the offensive than ever. Even if the road is full of pitfalls with a market that has never been so uncertain, it now seems equipped for…