Citroen shows what buyers crave at SMMT

09 January 2015 #SMMT News

Citroen C4 Cactus and Citroen C1 at SMMT

This week, SMMT released data for the UK new car market in 2014. With 2,476,435 cars registered – a 9.3% increase on 2013 volumes – last year was an exceptionally strong one as increasingly confident consumers took advantage of attractive finance deals on the latest products.

But how have consumer demands changed in recent years? Citroen is giving a clue to the booming areas of growth with an exhibition at SMMT’s Westminster headquarters this week.

A clear trend has developed over the past decade: demand for the traditional ‘large family car’ – otherwise known as the Upper Medium segment – is on the wane. These vehicles accounted for 17.5% of new car registrations in 2005, but just 9.2% of last year’s market.

So where are these buyers going? Generally, in one of two directions.

Citroen C1Many are downsizing, driven by lower running costs and the vastly improved comfort, refinement and specification of the latest small cars. Of all the cars registered last year, 875,775 were in the Mini and Supermini segments – which include the new Citroen C1 – accounting for almost 40% of the market. In contrast, these segments took little over 30% of the 2004 market, when Citroen’s smallest car was the larger C2.

Citroen C4 CactusBut while some motorists are moving into smaller cars, others are being attracted by a new breed of ‘crossover’ vehicles – such as Citroen’s all-new C4 Cactus. Offering increased practicality and SUV styling, this area of the market has seen a recent increase in the number of models available. The Dual Purpose (SUV) segment is the fastest-growing in the UK: its market share has surged from 7.7% in 2005 to 11.7% in 2014.

The Citroen C1 and C4 Cactus: two examples of a manufacturer adapting for the car market’s ever-changing buying trends.

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