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Citroën C5 X: there will be no replacement

The Citroën C5 X in a gray color

Thierry Koskas, CEO of Citroën, recently clarified the brand's future strategy during press tests of the new C3, stating that it wanted to compete head-on with Dacia. To achieve this, the brand will focus on the main segments of the European market and abandon segments where profitability is uncertain.

Thierry Koskas thus affirms that "we must be present in the main segments and not in niche segments", a declaration that marks a strategic turning point, with the aim of competing head-on with Dacia, famous for its economical and accessible vehicles. Koskas stressed the importance of profitability, which means that Citroën is not planning to replace smaller models such as the C1, nor larger models such as the C5X, which do not find enough of a place in the D-segment market. "Citroën must be present in the B and C segments because they are the heart of the brand," added the brand boss, specifying that it will concentrate on these key segments in order to maximise its profits.

The new C3: the flagship of the new strategy

The launch of the new Citroën C3 is the perfect symbol of this new philosophy based on the main segments. Based on the new "Smart Car" platform, the C3 has been designed to be more economical to produce thanks to a significant reduction in the number of parts used. This approach aims to make the car more affordable while maintaining the high levels of quality and comfort that are part of Citroën's DNA. By using fewer parts, the C3 is not only cheaper to manufacture, but also easier to assemble, reducing production costs and selling prices. This strategy allows Citroën to offer competitive cars on the market while ensuring greater profitability.

The new C3 will be available with electric, hybrid and petrol engines, offering affordable mobility to all types of drivers. By meeting the diverse needs of consumers, Citroën hopes to attract a large customer base and strengthen its position in the market, where it aims to become the leader in the B-segment in France.

Citroën is also committed to simplifying its models and not loading them with superfluous technological features in order to keep prices competitive. "We are clear about what we are," says Thierry Koskas, explaining that Citroën wants to offer "affordable cars, simple cars, comfortable cars. We are not a technological Christmas tree". This minimalist approach aims to offer customers functional and comfortable vehicles without burdening them with unnecessary gadgets, thus meeting the growing demand for practical and affordable cars.

However, Citroën will also retain its characteristic boldness, with Thierry Koskas announcing that the brand will "take risks, we need to shake up the market and Citroën can do it", Koskas declared, promising innovative and unconventional designs to stand out. Thierry Koskas also addressed the challenge of bridging the "big gap for electric objects", priced between 10,000 and 20,000 euros, between the Ami and the new C3. However, he admitted that this was a difficult problem to solve. "We don't have any plans at the moment, but the question is how to fill it," he said. By concentrating on more profitable segments, Citroën hopes to optimise its resources and ensure better profitability in the long term. This strategic decision is part of a broader vision aimed at strengthening Citroën's position on the European market by directly competing with brands such as Dacia.

End of the C5X: an inevitable consequence

The immediate consequence of this strategic reorientation is the announced end of the C5X, which will not be replaced and will therefore put an end to Citroën's presence in the D segment, where the brand has offered so many incredible cars. Although the C5X has not sold badly, it operates in a segment that Thierry Koskas describes as "non-existent". In fact, the D-segment is a very difficult market, blocked by the German premium brands, but above all shrinking due to the preference of customers who opt for C-segment SUVs instead. The same behaviour applies to compact sedans, which are increasingly competing with B-segment SUVs, resulting in a compact sedan segment that is also shrinking significantly. Furthermore, if Citroën abandons the C5X, it will not be the only Stellantis brand to do so, as Peugeot will soon discontinue the 508 and will not offer a replacement, just like Opel, which has long since discontinued the Insignia and will not offer anything above the new Grandland.

The decision to abandon the C5X therefore reflects Citroën's desire to rationalise its model range in order to better meet market expectations. By focusing on a smaller but more targeted range, Citroën can better adapt its offer to consumer needs and market trends. A strategy that also allows the brand to focus on innovation and differentiation, offering unique and attractive models that stand out from the competition. "There is no magic number, but five or six well-positioned models that are really attractive to customers... I would be happy with that," says Thierry Koskas. However, the brand will continue to offer a wide range, from the new C3 to the future C5 Aircross, and I can even tell you that a fourth generation of the C4 is in the pipeline, which will also shake up the market.

In conclusion, Citroën's strategy of focusing on core market segments and abandoning niche models is positioning it to compete directly with brands such as Dacia. The launch of the new C3, symbol of this new direction, and the abandonment of the C5X illustrate the brand's desire to focus on the essentials. With innovative, affordable and comfortable models, Citroën hopes to attract a large customer base while remaining true to its DNA.

But this decision is also one of the consequences of the transition to all-electric vehicles, which will require major investments from manufacturers, who will have to choose between rationalising their production and concentrating on the most profitable segments. Citroën's new positioning as an accessible brand, offering vehicles that are significantly more affordable than their predecessors, such as the new C3, also aims to meet consumer expectations for more affordable cars, which have risen sharply in recent years. The success of Dacia in recent years clearly demonstrates this.

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