Q&A: Citroën's Yves Bonnefont on the new C4 Cactus
Why have you decided to re-invent the C line?
We are very happy with the development of DS. We launched something that was totally new and after four years we have sold 410,000 cars. We will continue to develop the DS line and the core line of Citroën
Where did the idea come from?
We started to work on the Cactus concept in 2007. At that time we were willing to try and do a minimal car, and over the course of the seven years we evolved a lot in our thinking and came to the car today. We want no compromise on what is important to the customer but at the same time we want an effective cost of ownership – this car will be 10% lower than the best competition.
Where will it be positioned within the Citroën range, and will there be other Cactus models?
This is a C-segment car – it’s addressing the largest segment in the world, and the only segment where we see some growth in Europe. So we want to diversify our offering.
I’m often asked what the direct competitors of this car are; it’s very difficult because there’s nothing like this on the market. This logic of focusing on the core expectations of our customers while having a very competitive cost of ownership will apply to all the products of the Citroën core range.
In the future we have the DS Line, which is premium, and we have the core line of Citroën, which is characterised by what we do with Cactus. I don’t know whether we will call the other cars Cactus, it’s really going to be the whole line which will have those attributes.
Will the C4 Cactus be sold outside Europe?
The car was designed very much for the European market; we did a lot of in-depth market research to come to what is really important for European customers. If you asked me a year ago I would have said we have no plans to sell the car in China, but the feedback we’re getting from our Chinese partners and those who know the Chinese market within the company is the car could be attractive to Chinese customers. So we are studying the opportunity to launch the car in China.
What inspired the “Citroën and You” customer feedback programme, and will it extend to fleets?
We have worked a lot to improve the quality of our service and it’s a way to make that known. We want to be positive, we want to be transparent and we want to take the opportunity to improve our services if there are issues. I see no reason why it wouldn’t apply to fleets.