Citroen mulls plan to use new naming structure

Article by Christian A., on April 13, 2015

Citroen is thinking about using a new naming structure for its models so that they can be distinguished better within the lineup of parent PSA/Peugeot-Citroen. The brand presently uses a dual naming system. For its core models, the letter “C” is followed by a number. For instance, Citroen’s topseller in Europe is named the C3 subcompact.

Following it is the C4 compact. A name is added for variants of core models, such as the C3 Picasso and C4 Picasso minivans, C4 Cactus crossover and C4 Aircross SUV. So far, Citroen has not given details of its new naming policy. According to a report from French business paper Les Echos, a study was initiated by Citroen CEO Linda Jackson for a new naming structure for the brand.

When asked by Automotive News Europe, a Citroen spokeswoman said that the possibility is being studied but that it’s too early to provide details. Ian Fletcher, an analyst for IHS Automotive told Automotive News Europe, said that if Citroen gets a new policy, it may be a better reflection of the brand’s various models as well as be able to differentiate it further from PSA’s Peugeot and DS brands.

PSA CEO Carlos Tavares intends to cut the number of models that Peugeot and Citroen sell. He also has a turnaround strategy, which includes a plan to distinguish the brands. In 2014, he spun off the upmarket DS line from Citroen and made DS a stand-alone brand. Fletcher also thinks that Citroen will keep the Picasso and Cactus names.

He explained that Picasso has “strong customer recognition” and the move to launch the C4 Cactus implies that the brand may later on switch to using these types of names. Furthermore, he thinks that Citroen could opt to use these names on their own in the future since the existing C3 and C4 are “rather anonymous” for a brand that aims to play up a renewed focus on character and style.

Two years ago, PSA’s Peugeot brand presented a new car-naming system. For now, the brand uses numbers for its cars. An example of which is the 308 compact. However, this system was dropped and the final digit now identifies different generations of the same vehicle.

The final digit 1 is also used by the brand for entry-level models like the 301 targeted at emerging markets. Meanwhile, models aimed at mature markets end in the number 8.

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