Citroën has a mountain to climb. Is quirkiness the answer?
Unless you are won over by the C4 Cactus, or still dreaming the MPV dream while the world turns to SUVs, you will find the current Citroën collection dreary and dispiriting. Old cars, odd cars, Mitsubishi ‘captives’. So what’s the solution, apart from More Airbumps, as promised by CEO Linda Jackson?
Part of the answer (so presumably not part of the problem) is the e-Méhari, developed with French conglomerate Bolloré’s EV division. It appears to be a re-packaged version of Bolloré’s Bluesummer beach car, but built at Citroën’s Rennes factory, which produced the original essence Méhari, and much else besides. The presence of a Courrèges special edition tells us all we need to know – the e-Méhari is aimed at fashionable resort hire fleets, not developing countries and remote rural communities. More St. Tropez and Sylt than Senegal and Sudan.
Citroën’s other vehicle of diminished seriousness is derived from the SpaceTourer, the passenger version of the latest version of the Sevel Nord camionette. The Valenciennes plant is now wholly PSA owned, although it produces Toyota-branded versions of the van.
The SpaceTourer Hyphen ‘Band Van’ complete with a Dangel 4×4 conversion may not be all that is needed to drag Citroën from the mire, but it met with universal enthusiasm from my fellow Geneva-goers.
John Calvin would not have approved – at least not in public…