Citroën Sales Data & Trends for the European Automotive Market
Citroën car sales in Europe have fallen every year from 2009 through 2016 due to a slumping European economy and a shift in the market from mainstream to premium or low-cost. 2014 showed a slight increase in sales for the brand, but it still lost market share. Including DS, it lost volume every year since 2011. The short-lived success of the DS premium line of products has been unable to stop the sales decline of Citroën (DS sales are included in the sales figures below until 2014). The three vehicle line-up of DS3 subcompact, DS4 compact and DS5 midsized hatchback has added up to over 600.000 sales in 7 years time. But some of those sales will doubtlessly have cannibalized sales of the regular C-line. At least they provide the company with higher transaction prices and higher profit margins compared to the mainstream Citroën cars, but that hasn’t been enough for the red ink to continue until 2014.
With falling European sales, they don’t even have to increase their sales outside of the continent to lower their dependence on their home market to less than 50% of sales. Falling European sales will do the same trick, but I doubt that’s what PSA’s management had in mind.
Citroën market share in Europe has fallen below 5% in 2013 for the first time in decades and there are few signs of a recovery anytime soon. In fact, market share fell below 4% in 2015 and continued to slide in 2016. The new generation C1 minicar, a joint project with Toyota and sister brand Peugeot again, will face a tougher competition than the first generation, which has topped out at over 118.000 units, and the redesigned C4 Picasso is introduced into a shrinking segment. The subcompact C3 is the brand’s best selling model and its second generation is off to a great start so far. To regain its lost market share, PSA is planning a multi-year product overhaul starting in 2017, partially helped by the cooperation with Opel for the next generation MPVs which will become crossovers, and small vans.
The C4 Cactus has proven a surprising success, albeit short-lived, outselling the regular C4 ever since its introduction, but with already falling sales in its second full year. Nonetheless a remarkable performance considering the polarizing design in what’s usually a very traditional market. It marks a return to Citroën’s trademark quirkiness, but not just for the sake of being different, but actually benefiting the customer. Take the door panel protecting Airbumps for example; they look cool, but are very functional at the same time. The quirkiness has continued with the France-only E-Mehari, an electric fun-car with open top whose concept does indeed remind of the classic 2CV-based Mehari. The E-Mehari however has not been developed by Citroën itself, but is instead based on the Bolloré Bluesummer.
Please note: until 2014, these data include sales of the DS models, which were split off to a stand-alone brand in 2015. From 2015 onwards, sales of the DS models are no longer included in these figures.
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