Wednesday 4 August 2010

Citroen to target 'iPod generation' with new product plan

Citroen is planning to broaden its horizons by offering a new product family for the ‘iPod generation’. It would be the fourth Citroen product family and will be positioned alongside the DS range, the regular Citroën brand and the Picasso MPV family.

Peugeot-Citroën design boss, Jean-Pierre Ploué said that the firm will introduce the new line at the forthcoming Paris motor show. Industry bystanders expected Citroën was preparing to launch a budget model line, but Ploué denied the proposal.

“This is a brand defined not by price, but by simplicity and ingenuity of design. It’s our family of cars for those who value design purity above all else: for the iPod generation. I cannot reveal its name yet, but this brand will cause a lot of shock and surprise at Paris, I promise you. It’s a real departure for us – a break from tradition”.

Ploué mentioned Citroën’s 2CV as the inspiration for its new model family, “not for the appearance of the car, but for its innovative spirit”. However, the real motivation for the brand is the C-Cactus concept, which debuted at the 2007 Frankfurt motor show.

The 4.2m C-Cactus was considered “too challenging and radical” to be put into production as a Citroën earlier this year, but it could hit retailers under the new product line.

“The C3 Picasso would also be a model for the new sub-brand, if we were making it today,” Ploué said. “It’s a youthful, innovative, efficient and simple design. DS is all about ‘Frenchness’, sculpture and sophistication, while the new brand is the antithesis of that. It appeals through its stark, pared-down simplicity, to a different, younger customer than DS.”

One of the first models to be launched under the new sub-brand would be a supermini that would indirectly replace the aged and now axed C2 supermini. “We’re not planning on replacing the C2 as a Citroën, but under the new brand we could use the opportunity to do something much more interesting,” Ploué said.

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