Due to shifting market trends and falling sales, the next-generation Citroen C5 may turn out to be a China-only model.
Linda Jackson, Citroen's CEO, told Automotive News Europe that "in China there is clearly a requirement for a C5 segment car".
Jackson said, though, that there's a question mark as to whether the next-generation large vehicle will be sold in Europe or, indeed, the rest of the world. The CEO gave no indication of when the C5's replacement would surface; the current car made its debut in 2008.
According to figures from Jato Dynamics, 17,911 Citroen C5 sedans and wagons were sold across Europe in 2014 and was the ninth highest-selling vehicle in its segment. C5 sales were down 27 percent year-on-year.
The mainstream mid-size car market in Europe has shrunk over the decades, thanks in part to ever larger and roomier small cars, a preference for comparably priced or sized vehicles from luxury marques, and the ever-increasing popularity of SUVs of all hues, sizes and stripes.
If Citroen decides against selling the C5's successor in Europe, it would run counter to Renault's strategy of offering its upcoming Talisman sedan in its home market. According to Renault's design chief, Lars van den Acker: “Even though in Europe it’s a segment that is under pressure, nonetheless, it holds it’s own. It declines, but very slowly. In my view it’s an important segment to be in, for your image as a car company."
Last month, sources within the company told Reuters that the current-generation C5 will be the last Citroen car to be offered with the company's signature hydropneumatic suspension system.