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Paris Auto Show 2014: Citroen flexing its muscles as the new pragmatic brand in the PSA Group

Citroen C4 Cactus Paris Auto ShowCitroen C4 Cactus at the Paris Auto Show

* See the Full interview by clicking on the title and all Paris Auto Show 2014 reports here *

After DS and Peugeot, we now explore the third brand of the PSA Group, Citroen, at the Paris Auto Show 2014. A lot less activity on the Citroen stand than say at Peugeot or Renault, but the second part of 2014 has seen the launch of the C4 Cactus progressively in Europe (France and Spain first, then the rest of the continent) and a continuous flow of new models in China including the C3-XR unveiled at the Citroen C42 flagship store on the Champs Elysées just before the Auto Show, a model that will not be sold in France and wasn’t present on the Citroen stand.  I had the privilege to interview Julien Montarnal, Citroen Director of Marketing, Communication & Sport, who struck me as particularly down-to-earth, approachable and articulate, a rare enough feat for a high level French businessman (or should I say French person full stop…). This makes him the perfect fit for the brand’s repositioning.

Citroen C4 Cactus airbumpsCitroen C4 Cactus airbumps detail

BSCB: One year ago you announced the repositioning of the Citroen brand within the PSA-Peugeot Citroen Group. What are the first results?

Julien Montarnal: The results of this repositioning can be seen on our stand here at the Paris Auto Show. Our credo is creative technologie at the service of wellbeing. By wellbeing I mean comfortable, in a physical sense but also in the sense of proposing a customer experience that is light and stress-free. Our new products the C1 and C4 Cactus are very representative of what we want to put forward for the Citroen brand. What is creativity, technology at the service of wellbeing for us? Creativity is design. A Citroen has to be recognisable, visible, it’s in our DNA. The C4 Cactus is a good example: it makes heads turn on the street and that doesn’t happen often. The C1 as well is now much more differentiated from its cousins than it was with the first generation. Secondly the technology. We always have and always will inject new technology in our models but now we are focusing on truly helpful technology and offering concrete, pragmatic and positive solutions to make your life easier. Here too the C4 Cactus is a good example with its airbumps. The first thing we do when we buy a new iPhone is buy a cover for it – although I see you haven’t done that…

Full interview below.

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