SUVs to drive Citroën fleet take-up
The new C5 Aircross presents a major opportunity for Citroën to grow its presence, including in the fleet sector, where it marks new ground for the brand.
The comment comes from Patrick Fontana of Citroën Product Marketing, who spoke to Fleet World at the recent launch of the C5 Aircross.
Previously known for its MPVs, Citroën now has its strongest SUV offering thanks to the C5 Aircross and this will especially help to draw business customers to the brand.
“Yes, as our market share in the C-SUV segment at the moment is very low, as we only had the former C-Crosser before Aircross. So first of all we need to attract the customers that are interested in SUVs today. A lot of them already own SUVs and we must please them. But, certainly we will have new customers to work with and our network,” said Fontana.
Conquest sales will make up most of the customers, but Citroën also believes that with the MPV versatility inside the C5 Aircross’s SUV body, it will also attract MPV buyers who until now didn’t want an SUV. “This is because they can’t find the roominess and versatility in an SUV and that’s why they still buy an MPV. We have a large amount of first- and second-generation C4 Picasso owners across Europe, that are both private and business customers. We want to keep them within the Citroën brand and I think those people will want to buy the C5 Aircross.”
With the focus on SUVs, it begs the questions whether this leaves the C5 Aircross on a sales collision with the forthcoming C5 saloon? Apparently, despite some transfer, Fontana and Citroën believe there is a future for the saloon.
“If we look at the change and where SUV buyers are coming from, they come from SUVs, but they also come from MPVs and [saloons]. We note that there are less and less people buying MPVs in Europe, in other countries it is different. So I think there is still room in the market for such body shapes. According to the cost of petrol, the taxes — this may change, but we are quite confident for 5 or 10 years to come.”