Our good friends at Automotive News Europe have interviewed Citroen’s CEO, Linda Jackson: expect more Cactussy Citroens.
Here is the article’s intro: “The C4 Cactus has been a sales winner. Citroen has sold 90,000 C4 Cactus models since its debut last year and the car was awarded the World Car Design of the Year at the New York auto show in April. Citroen CEO Linda Jackson wants to channel the quirky compact hatchback’s success into the rest of the brand’s lineup. Jackson explained how in an interview with Automotive News Europe correspondent Nick Gibbs.” I recommend you read the rest of the article yourself. Click on the link above or this or this.
The core of Jackson’s idea is that since Citroen have sold incredible numbers of the Cactus, the idea should be expanded to other models. The main elements of the Cactus formula are the quirky design, the useful technology and a third thing I can’t remember.
On the one hand, Citroen’s current styling theme is as memorable as a ball of mozzarella. Like it or not, the Cactus does have a kind of form language that stands out. It’s a pity its main feature is the sloppy handling of shutlines and oxymoronic use of mock-glass and, of course, rubber bumps down the side.
So, imagine that Citroen want to design a new car: are they going to give it all these features and hope for the best? In a few years these Cactus features are going to be even more familiar than they are now. And I can’t see the bumps being applied to another series of cars, not ones with any level of seriousness.
I think that Citroen have been looking at the way Fiat have taken the 500 formula and, well, applied it to a lot of cars. This means that Citroen’s big idea to apply a Cactus touch to other cars is not only recycling of one idea, but the recycling of two: Fiat’s design recycling policy. There is the outside chance that Citroen really mean that they plan to have more wilfully different cars than they currently have.
Many of their concept cars have been very worthwhile but none of those sparks of originality have made it to production: the C3 and C4 are truly unmemorable. The C5 dies soon and that’s it. Oh, there’s a rebadged Mitsubishi and a C1 in there somewhere. They desperately need some strong and distinctive designs. I just hope they don’t just think plastering rubber bumps and fake glass constitutes a design strategy for the mid-term.