Citroen Needs Global Growth After China Sales Slump
Citroen CEO Linda Jackson mentioned the brand has to grow its international footprint as cushion from dropping regional sales trends, highlighting how China sales fell by 47.3% in 2017.
The company moved to take advantage of the growing market in China during the peak of the 2012 European car sales, launching one car after another.
That strategy didn’t work out, as the sales of Citroen suffered a steep decline last year. This was because the demand changed from saloon-led to SUV-led, and that was the time when many Chinese manufacturers offered high-quality SUVs for less.
To answer this switch in demand, Citroen introduced the new C5 Aircross SUV in the country first while restructuring dealership. They had to take the original 450 outlets down to 390 in order to stay afloat. After these changes were implemented, sales has increased and market share have grown by 0.3 percent.
“A few years ago the strength of China helped offset Europe, but we are fortunate that as China has slowed down so Europe has risen again,” Jackson explained. “It highlights that we need to become more international and bring balance to our portfolio. Today, 27% of our sales are outside Europe, by 2020 I want it to be 30% and I want to grow the figure to around 45% in the longer-term.”
Jackson has also mentioned that Iran and Latin American countries may provide the best short-term opportunities for long-term expansion and growth.