Dedicated followers of French chic promised a deal
FRENCH car followers are being promised a new deal, including more chic DS models, as Citroen enters a new era in Australia.
Value will also be boosted across a nine-model line-up, withered Down Under since the global financial crisis.
Citroen showrooms will be more like a new-car boutique, with a much bigger emphasis on DS models, including the upcoming DS3 cabrio.
‘‘We want to make the Citroen stand out. It’s not just a commodity brand,’’ says John Startari, who heads the French brand for the newlyappointed distributor, the Sime Darby Motors Group.
‘‘We also need Citroen to be more relevant.
‘‘So we’re rationalising the line-up and increasing the competitiveness.’’
Only 1702 Citroens were sold in Australia last year and, although Startari pointblank refuses to talk numbers, the target from Franch is obviously more than 2000 cars in 2013.
That should finally mean a C3 price leader instead of today’s $23,990 starter car, priced more in line with rivals like the Toyota Corolla that start at $19,990.
The DS5 is also set for a bigger role, playing in a size and price class where Ci- troen wants to stand out from a huge range of rivals including the Ford Mondeo, Hyundai i40, new Mazda6 and even the Peugeot 508.
‘‘Australians really don’t know about DS. I think there is an untapped demand for those cars, which are like the Mini,’’ says Startari.
‘‘All the DS cars are here now, but they haven’t really been pushed. It’s about telling people what they are and what they can do.
‘‘And building up the package that goes with them. Our halo car is the DS5.
‘‘It is already here but has never had a proper Australian launch. So we are starting virtually with a clean slate in June. The price won’t come down but there will be better value.’’
He also confirms the DS3 cabrio without being more specific on timing than ‘‘later this year’’.