The PSA group is having a hard time in Europe, partly because of a self-confessed issue of having two separate brands, Peugeot and Citroën, positioned too closely to each other. With too many models contesting the same price market, they’ve been stealing sales from each other and losing out in the process.
As reported by Autonews Europe, the French automaker now aims to shift the two brands further apart, in a fresh bid to stay afloat in the tough and crowded European market. Clearly repositioned, Peugeot and Citroën will each target a different customer base to increase sales numbers and of course, profit.
The product line-up will be split into three distinct brand positioning. Citroën’s mainstream model range – from the C1 to C5 – will form the base of the new structure. They will be priced cheaper than before and offer a better cost of ownership with an “optimised cost-to-function ratio”. As such, Citroën’s C-line will lose out on PSA’s latest technologies and most powerful engines, but be more accessible to the lower end of the market.
Positioned above that range will be Peugeot. The entire brand will move upmarket compared to where it is positioned now, into the so-called semi-premium segment that’s dominated by Volkswagen. The upcoming 208 GTi and 2008 crossover are two examples of this new brand philosophy, packing more tech and premium appeal with prices to match.
Citroën’s upscale DS-line will be kept at the top of the PSA pyramid, but is set to be expanded with more models in the future. The DS line-up will offer the most complex technologies and highest-tuned powertrains that PSA can offer, serving as halo models to the more affordable Citroën and Peugeot offerings.
In Malaysia the Naza Group handles both Peugeot and Citroën franchises. Citroen was launched recently with the DS4 and DS5. How they plan to implement this new brand shake-up remains to be seen, and will shape up the local Continental car market in the next few years.