At the UK media introduction for the new right hand driver Citroen C6 executive four door saloon range which will be in dealer showrooms from June, Citroen UK said the distinctively styled C6 is for people who do not want to follow the herd when choosing their executive transport.
They also say that only Citroen could have built an executive car such as the C6 and it follows their long history of building a long line of beautiful iconic ‘great’ cars such as the DS, CX and SM of the past.
Citroen concede they are pitting the C6 against stiff opposition such as the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, Mercedes E-Class, Jaguar S-Type as well as Lexus where supreme driving dynamics and performance are traditional pivotal requirements.
Instead the C6, Citroen says, offers more in the way of flamboyant styling, strong safety credentials, innovative on-board technologies, its magic carpet ride comfort and it ‘delivers’ for drivers and passengers alike.
With only 20,000 units of the C6 being manufactured on a bespoke production line for global sales each year Citroen add there is no pressure on them to force sales of this executive car which should be good news for dealers and potential customers possibly worried about future residual values.
For the UK market Citroen say the C6 will sell in its hundreds not thousands and it is being built to order so there should be no issue with stockpiles of these cars all with no homes to go to. If Citroen, or their UK dealers, do not have the exact specification C6 any customer wants in stock, as the car is built to order the required model can be supplied to the customer in 8 to 10 weeks.
The C6 is available with two engine options, a 3.0-litre V6, 215bhp petrol unit or the new PSA/Ford 2.7-litre, V6, twin turbo, 208bhp, HDi diesel engine which is expected to account for 80 per cent of C6 sales. Both engines are mated to six-speed sequential automatic gearboxes. The C6 is available with three levels of specification, standard C6, Lignage - the anticipated main seller, and the top of the range Exclusive. Prices range from £29,545 up to £37,845.
Because of its high standard specification Citroen say the C6 offers better value than most of its competitors because extra cost options on cars such as the BMW 530d SE can add over £10,000 to their published price making the C6 cheaper in real terms.
Later in the year a brand new 2.0-litre, four-cylinder 173bhp HDi diesel engine from the Ford/PSA alliance will be added to the range with manual and automatic transmission options.
Citroen acknowledge that in the UK their 210 sales outlets have in recent years very little experience in selling vehicles into the premium and executive market sectors being more used to offering value for money models in a very competitive market driven by volume sales.
With the C6 Citroen dealers have the option to sell or nor sell the new C6 and the new executive saloon will not form part of the dealers’ annual sales targets. But Citroen says that with the relatively low numbers of sales they expect in the UK that most dealers will already know and have customers waiting for the arrival of the C6. However because they will be dealing with executive car customers and taking other makes of executive cars in part exchange they have in place business measures to help the dealers deal with this new sector.
To stop the distress selling of C6 demonstrators Citroen will take back a demonstrator that is not of the correct specification wanted by a customer and exchange it for the right car. They are also using a company called JTK Remarketing who specialise in providing trade in values for used premium cars so the Citroen dealer can give any customer an accurate trade in valuation on their existing car against the price of a new C6. If the transaction takes place the dealer can either choose to sell the traded in model on their own forecourt or the car will be sent to JTK Remarketing for them to dispose of it through the normal trade sales channels. Citroen dealer will also be offering C6 customers a three-year full maintenance policy that also covers wear and tear items for £499. Citroen say we are making it easy for our dealers to sell the C6 to executive car buyers.
On the subject of who will buy the C6 in the UK Citroen say that because of its unique styling and technical innovation it will appeal they feel to a select group of people, creative directors for instance, people who want individuality. The executive chauffeur and private hire business should also be attracted to running the C6 because of its unique looks and high specification luxury interior. Whilst some private sales are expected many buyers will be user-chooser business customers and some low volume fleet sales are planned. Citroen’s fleet sales people are already in contact the French community living and working in the UK who could be attracted to the C6. Businesses with French connections and even foreign embassies are all targets.Published 12 May 2006