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Citroen CEO: “The SUV world is over”

Citroen The CEO thinks SUVs are on their way out as electric vehicles proliferate through automakers’ product lines.

Vincent Cobée’s comment to automatically express However, that comes with some disclaimers: first, he admits that at this point “the numbers don’t tell me I’m right”, and second, he envisions a market where more vehicles are sold as SUVs, but at higher prices. -Riding a sedan.

Citroen has a limited number of SUVs, offering only Route C3 and Route C5with New C4 and its bootstrapped C4 X counterpart are also marketed as SUVs.

Cobée hopes more liberal, fastback SUVs will become more popular due to the aerodynamic benefits they offer – something that is especially important for electric vehicles.

“On battery electric vehicles, if your aerodynamics are wrong, the range penalty is huge,” says Mr Cobée. Auto show.

“You can lose 50 km between good and bad aero, and between an SUV and a sedan, you are talking 60/70/80 km very easily.”

He also criticized the trend of automakers putting larger and larger batteries in their electric vehicles, especially SUVs, and said this was not the way forward.

“People will start limiting battery weight and size, through taxes, through incentives, through regulation, through naming and shaming,” he said.

“The A-segment has been destroyed by regulation, [and] the DIFFERENCE [SUV] segment will be killed by aerodynamics and weight,” he added.

The term D-segment SUV traditionally refers to mid-to-large models such as Hyundai Santa Fewhile the A segment is the term for super small cars like fiat500.

Mr. Cobée said: “If we stick with ‘SUV boxes’ until 2030 and find out that there are no customers, that’s going to be a tough landing… you don’t want to be the last. leave the dance floor.

In Citroen’s home market of France, vehicles weighing over 1800kg are now subject to a weight surcharge – a tax introduced in 2022 and referred to by some as the “SUV tax”. Currently, this only affects vehicles powered by internal combustion engines.

Citroen currently has a limited number of electric vehicles, including the e-C4, e-Berlingo and e-Spacetourer. e-C4 looks “favorable” to launch locallybut not locked yet.

They all use a relatively small 50kWh battery, which the company thinks is all that is needed as it will instead improve the charging experience and provide customers with route planning tools. Citroen even offers short-term loans for cars powered by internal combustion engines to its EV customers in Europe.

But Citroen is positioned as one of the low-end “Core” brands – along with Fiat – in the Stellantis empire, and therefore doesn’t offer anything bigger or more premium than Citroen. C5X.

In contrast, higher-end brands, including Stellantis’ Maserati brand, offer larger, more luxurious and therefore heavier vehicles that use larger batteries – Maserati Grecale Folgorefor example, use a 105 kWh battery followed by a larger battery Levante and Quattroporte tram.

Mr. Cobée thinks that public sentiment will turn away from SUVs because they see them as a waste of resources, regardless of whether they are powered by an internal combustion engine or run on batteries.

“If you live in a big city, five years ago if you carried your kids in a big SUV, you were already a man. Now, if you do this, you’re a ‘terrorist’…” he said.

SUVs account for around 50% of annual sales in Europe, while last year they accounted for 53.1% of Australia’s new car market.

The term SUV doesn’t just include muscular body-on-frame off-road vehicles like Mercedes-Benz G-Classbut also front-wheel drive, monolithic crossovers like Kia Stonic only slightly heavier and sit only slightly higher than the corresponding vehicle marketed as a passenger car.

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