Citroen will commence building a large crossover/sports utility vehicle in China between the end of 2014 and early 2015. Citroen chief executive Frederic Banzet told Automotive News Europe that the new model will be based on the Wild Rubis Concept that was unveiled at the Shanghai auto show and will be rolled out to China and surrounding Asian markets.
The carmaker, however, is not planning to sell the new model in Europe. Banzet remarked that the production model will be “less radical” than the Wild Rubis concept, which sits on 21-inches wheels. Wild Rubis measures 4700mm in length, 1950mm in width and 1590mm in height -- similar in size to the Volkswagen Touareg.
Citroen is currently selling in Europe the C4 Aircross compact SUV that is derived from the Mitsubishi ASX. The carmaker is also selling in Europe the C-Crosser, which is derived from the Mitsubishi Outlander.
The new large SUV for China will be sold as part of Citroen's upscale DS line. Media reports say that the new model could be dubbed as the DS7 or DSX7. Citroen will build the model at a Shenzhen site owned by a joint venture between PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and Changan Automobile Group.
Banzet told Automotive News Europe that Citroen is about to commence output of DS5 in Shenzhen site, to be followed in 2014 by a compact sedan and by the large crossover. Citroen is aiming to increase its sales in China as it bids to sell half of its vehicles outside Europe by 2015. Banzet remarked that in the first half of 2013, sales outside Europe accounted for 40 percent of the total.