Citroen focusing on ‘design and comfort’

Looking at the brand’s reputation to create a new niche for Citroen.

Citroen’s future will based around the two key elements: design and comfort. The brand is focused on bringing innovative technologies enhancing its concept of comfort, and creating daring designs to help differentiate its models in the crowded mainstream market.

Speaking to Australian media at the Paris motor show, Citroen global CEO, Linda Jackson, said the brand’s focus on design and comfort is a nod to its historical values – but with a modern twist.

“There are two key elements [to Citroen],” Jackson said.

“The first one is design. Everyone will say we want great design, but we want one that really stands out, splashes of colour, very coherent with rest of range, very obvious with chevrons etcetera,” she explained.

“We want to be able to stand out, we want to have one that is immediately recognised around the world.”

Jackson says Citroen can create mainstream cars but imbue them with design that helps the brand stand out against more conservative manufacturers. As for the other part?

“The second element is comfort. We think we have credibility from the past, that’s why we believe it’s a real asset for us, but for me it’s really important for us that we don’t get in our minds the old-fashioned way of thinking about comfort – because the old-fashioned way is to say that okay Citroen had the hydraulic suspension and great seats, but there is more to the modern approach now,” Jackson said.

“It’s about, of course, the suspension, but new technology that is exclusive to Citroen, to create that new Citroen magic carpet effect. And yes, of course we developed new technology for the seats, for the foam, but also it’s about air quality, storage space, but also the modularity in the car, it’s also about connectivity and wider approach.”

Citroen’s focus on comfort means it will take a minor step back from creating performance vehicles, which Jackson hinted aren’t necessarily the requirements for a Citroen customer, with sister brands Peugeot and DS instead able to cater to those needs.

“Every single model will have an emphasis on comfort. Comfort is our number one priority after design, a differentiator for Citroen because of our history… comfort is also about ease of use.

“It’s easy to use, it’s comfortable to use, you got the technology that is right for you, not too much technology, just the right amount,” she said.

“If you think about comfort, I get into my car I am physically comfortable but in my mind I am also comfortable because of the driving aids, I know that I got security with an SUV for example, but I also know that I have the convenience because I can go and configure my car.”

Ultimately, according to Jackson, the focus for upcoming Citroen vehicles will be to take the stress out of driving, not just in the physical sense, but also in the after sales experience.

“Comfortable, easy and relaxed, that’s what we are trying to get to. A relaxed experience because this world is chaotic enough without creating even more tension. so let’s try and take the stress out.”

Does the concept of more ‘comfortable’ Citroen models appeal to you?