Launched in China in September 2021 and in Europe in April 2022, the Citroën C5 X is the brand's new large saloon and, in good Citroën fashion, has done nothing like the others with a unique offer in a declining segment. But after a year and a half of marketing, what are the sales figures? Are they exceeding the brand's expectations? A surprise is on the horizon.
A crossover sedan that makes a difference
The large family sedan segment has been in sharp decline for several years, hit by SUVs, which have become the preferred body type of consumers around the world. While saloons are still holding their own in China, the segment is shrinking in Europe, where only premium manufacturers are present, and generalist manufacturers are abandoning this segment one by one, as it has become too complicated with low sales volumes.
In fact, in this segment, station wagons are the best-selling cars in Europe, to the detriment of saloons, whereas in China, saloons are more popular than station wagons. Citroën has therefore taken the bold decision to offer a car that blends the codes of a saloon and an estate car, a saloon with a touch of SUV, thus offering a choice of difference and originality in a segment where classicism reigns supreme.
Manufactured exclusively in China, which is its main market, the Citroën C5 X is one of the last representatives of the large French family saloon in Europe. What are the sales figures? In 2022, around 54,400 Citroën C5 Xs found buyers, a figure up 50% compared to 202, a logical figure given that production only started in August 2021. China, which represents the bulk of sales, since the C5 X sold 9,928 units in Europe and thus more than 40,000 units in China.
At the presentation, Citroën did not mention any sales targets, as is customary, especially since component shortages and logistical problems complicated matters. However, the brand's representatives hinted at a target of between 40 and 50,000 units per year. With 54,400 units sold, the C5 X has exceeded the brand's expectations, even though it has not been on the European market for a full year since its launch in April 2022.
SAbove all, the C5 X is not far behind the C5 Aircross, which sold 63,700 units in 2012, a difficult year for the French SUV, which was severely affected by the shortage of components in the first half of the year. The brand's large saloon is therefore a good or even very good performer, with almost 55,000 units sold, better than the Peugeot 5008 (53,700 units sold), the Ford Focus 5-door, the Nissan Juke or even the much cheaper Seat Ibiza.
So yes, the C5 X is doing better than the brand's forecasts and can be considered a success for Citroën with a level of worldwide sales not very far from that of the C5 Aircross and very far ahead of that of the Peugeot 508 (less than 20,000 units), Citroën has therefore done well to launch this new large family saloon. It must be said that the C5 X does not lack qualities, it is very liveable, extremely comfortable, particularly with its controlled suspension, remarkable efficiency with very low consumption and relatively accessible compared to the competition. With a successful first quarter of 2023 in Europe where the C5 X sold almost 3,900 units, a figure that could exceed 15,000 units over a full year, the great Citroën should not do so well given a more delicate situation in China where sales have fallen a lot but the brand has corrected the situation by presenting an updated C5 X in April at the Shanghai show with, hopefully, an effect on sales so that the great Citroën still manages to exceed the cap of 50,000 units, a cap that could ensure a descendant? Hopefully, the presence of Citroën at the top of the range is still important.
* The figures in this article come from the Car Industry Analysis Instagram account.