Citroen Australia says that going forward it will not follow the industry practice of offering an entry price-point vehicle just for an attractive sticker price.
The French brand says its customers are those who have thoroughly considered their options and want a Citroen and to date the brand sells far more optioned-up vehicles than base grade versions.
Speaking with media at the launch of the 2015 Citroen DS3, the company’s head of marketing, Dmitri Andreatidis, said the brand will never be a mainstream seller locally but it will offer something unique.
“Our intention in Australia is not to be the biggest brand, but a marque that offers quintessential French flair with leading service and support,” Andreatidis said.
Citroen’s Australian distributor, Sime Darby, says it has focused on its customer’s needs and now believes it delivers 'vehicles that customers want'. However, it's a move that seemingly flies in the face of Peugeot Citroen's global strategy, which has set out Citroen as the entry-level brand, with Peugeot a semi-premium offering, and the DS spinoff brand as the flagship marque.
“Put simply, we will not be the cheapest and we will not [offer] price point vehicles but we will offer vehicles that our customers expect, and, quite frankly, buy. They are highly specified and true to the brand,” Andreatidis said.
The message from Citroen comes as the French brand repositions its DS3 at a higher price point but with significantly more standard features.
Citroen Australia’s national sales manager, Shaun Mackle, admitted that entry-price vehicles are not suited to the brand locally.
“We have taken the opportunity to respond to what the market desires for a highly specified vehicle as standard. Price point vehicles in base grades simply don’t work for Citroen and the DS brand,” Mackle said.
“In Australia our products attract individualists, those who have made a considered decision to purchase something different and when they do, they option it with everything humanly possible.”
So far this year Citroen sales are up 24 per cent, and the brand plans to launch a number of new models over the remainder of the year.
Citroen Australia is targeting sustained and earned growth of around 10 per cent per year going forward.
Citroen is the only European brand to offer a six-year warranty in Australia.