Despite fewer than 200 registrations so far in 2022, Citroën Australia says it is committed to maintaining a continued presence in the local new car market.
With a national network of 10 dealers (plus 22 service and parts outlets), a total of 197 sales at the end of August represents an average of only 2.5 cars per month, per dealer (seller).
But when asked if that ratio was sustainable, Citroën Australia Managing Director Kate Gillis said Cars Guide“We are fully committed to Citroën in the Australian market. Sales were light this year, but we have improved from where we have been for the past few years. »
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Indeed, the brand is up 124% year-over-year, having recorded just 88 sales at the same time in 2021.
“What we’ve found this year is that the semiconductor supply issue has impacted Citroën, so if we put what we see in terms of sales with the order bank, that number ( YTD) is changing a bit,” Ms Gillis added.
Citroën has been present in the Australian new car market for 99 years. And in the 1960s, the 1D-19 and then the DS-21 were assembled in West Heidelberg, northeast of Melbourne. But longevity is not always synonymous with success.
However, Chloe Fraser, Citroën’s national head of corporate affairs and public relations, is keen to clarify the brand’s local positioning and the pace of sales.
“There are so many brands in the Australian market, and not all of them will be in the top 10. So for us, it’s around the fact that there will always be a Citroën customer here in Australia, and we are committed to to serve them. It’s about bringing a product that suits this Citroën customer,” she said.
“The biggest and best indication of Citroën’s commitment to the market is to bring the fantastic new product generation that is coming with the C4 and C5 X and to continue to expand our model range here.”
The next-generation Citroën C4, launched locally at the end of 2021, is a small five-seater SUV powered by a 114 kW/240 Nm three-cylinder turbo petrol engine driving the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
According to Ms Gillis: ‘It was received better than expected’
“Then we have the new C5 X which will arrive later this year. Two vehicles that are not SUVs, so that expands the possibility for us to sell to customers who drive pre-C5s and C4s, and we have a lot of interest in these models,” she said.
Scheduled to arrive at the end of the year, the C5 X is Citroën’s self-proclaimed flagship model. The high-end, fastback-style wagon is offered in pure combustion and plug-in hybrid versions.
Building on the same platform as the Peugeot 508, the petrol-only version will be offered here only in the range-topping Shine trim, powered by a 1.6-litre turbo four (133kW/300Nm), driving the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. A PHEV, which has yet to be 100% confirmed for Australia, pushes power up to 168kW and offers over 50km of pure EV range.
Distinctive in design and execution, the brand is also known for its exceptional ride and handling. And Ms Gillis acknowledges that Citroën’s left-centre appeal can be a volume limitation.
“The elements that make a Citroën a Citroën are those that people fall in love with. He’s a very loyal customer,” she said. Adding, in a refreshing and pragmatic summary: “The brand is here to stay. It will never be a big volume. It’s going to meet the needs of existing customers, and it’s going to attract more people with every new product we launch.