While the new C3 was launched in Brazil in mid-September, it was not until the end of October that it was launched in Argentina, the other major Latin American country where Citroën's ambitions are greatest. After two months on the market, the first assessment can be made, and it is a surprising one.
Although it is still too early to make a real first assessment, it is interesting to note that the sales of the new Citroën C3 in Argentina are correlated with a number of often surprising elements and that the analysis of the figures alone doesn't make much sense.
Sales linked to the performance of the Peugeot 208
Sold from 3,280,000 pesos or 16,250 euros, the Citroën C3 is the cheapest car on the Argentinean market and aims to be in the top 3 of its segment over a full year, an objective that is not so obvious for the brand because it is linked to the commercial performance of the locally assembled...Peugeot 208. To put it simply, the Citroën C3, manufactured in Brazil and therefore imported into Argentina, needs the Peugeot 208, manufactured in Argentina, to be exported sufficiently for the group to have the right to import the maximum possible C3, it needs the 208 to sell very well for export so that Citroën can import a lot of C3. This is not specific to PSA, but is an Argentinean rule used to limit imports.
An accessible version aside
During the launch of the new C3 in Argentina, Citroën expected to sell many versions of the car, even if the majority of sales would be the top-of-the-range versions. The top-of-the-range 115 bhp Feel Pack automatic is the best-selling version, although it is the most expensive, and although Citroën expected it to account for 35% of sales, this most expensive version clearly achieved some. more to become the best-selling C3 in Argentina. For Federico Frascaroli, head of the Citroën brand in Argentina, "the reason is that although it is the most expensive C3, it is still a very competitive car for its segment. It has a good engine, an automatic gearbox and a 10-inch multimedia screen. You have to pay a lot more to find that in its competitors on the market".
Of the 1,000 C3s already sold in Argentina in the two months it has been on the market, only 50 have been sold in the most accessible version, which, according to Federico Frascaroli, "correspond to customers who reached their first 0 km and arrived with just what they needed: this is the mission this version fulfils. But in the rest of the cases, they are people who preferred to pay a little more to access more equipped versions. "This is a phenomenon that does not occur in Brazil, for example, where entry-level versions are more in demand. We will see how the sales mix establishes itself in 2023, which will be the first full year of sales of the new C3 in Argentina, although we believe this trend will continue."
In conclusion, it is still too early to assess the sales of the C3 in Argentina and the conditions for good sales of the C3 to be achieved do not only concern the good reception of the car, but also the volumes that the brand has the right to import, these volumes depend directly on the exports of the 208, which means that the two versatile sedans from Citroën and Peugeot share much more than their platform in Argentina....