24 October 2009

Citroën Production: 2008

Citroën means lemon, due to the founders ancestral heritage of lemon selling in Amsterdam. Anyway, it also means a poorly made car which makes it an unfortunate name. Production has been solid of late, and Citroën has held world market share for the last few years. In 2008, 1,380,000 cars/LCVs were made, roughly the same as 2005. 48% of production was French, with Spain on 32% in the year of '05. That means 80% of cars were made in two countries, adjacent to each. That makes little sense to me as factories need to be close to markets if possible. That will surely happen in the future.

A new plant in lower wage Czech Rep has helped but the brand relies too much on Europe. Car making by country is as follows for '08:

France 43% 590,000
Spain 25% 340,000
Czech Rep 8% 110,000
China 6.5% 90,000
Italy & Brazil 4% 55,000 each
Turkey 2.4% 34,000
Portugal 2.3% 32,000
Portugal 30,000 1.5%
Rest 2.5% 35,000

Citroën is a contradiction in how it survives. As part of the PSA Group along with Peugeot, it sells similar products to its stablemate and is rarely seen outside of Europe. It's slightly quirky style and history gives it a loyal following. It also keeps going by virtue of development cost savings with Peugeot but one senses that may not be enough long term.

The bottom line: Citroën needs to broaden it's range and global presence. Reliability and a more solid feel about them would help too.

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