Citroen C4 Cactus to start below 14,000 euros

Citroen will offer a novel “pay-per-use” option with the C4 Cactus.
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Citroen intends to price the C4 Cactus between compact cars and small crossovers, Julien Montarnal, the executive responsible for the brand's strategy, told Automotive News Europe.

When it goes on sale in June the C4 Cactus's base price in France will be 13,950 euros -- well below the 18,850 euro starting price of the C4 compact hatchback.

Citroen CEO Frederic Banzet said the car will be "10 to 15 percent less expensive than its compact competitors." But the average transaction price will be "in the region of 16,000 to 17,000 euros," increasing to 22,250 euros for the diesel version, Banzet told Automotive News Europe last week at the Geneva auto show.

Finance options

Citroen is also set to release more information on its planned finance options for the C4 Cactus. An all-inclusive monthly flat rate scheme and a novel "pay-per-use" contract will be provided through the brand's house lender, Banque PSA Finance.

Montarnal said Citroen would offer the base version of the C4 Cactus, the Start, (which does not have air conditioning), for a monthly flat rate of 199 euros in France. "The contract is for 36 months and includes up to 45,000 kilometers, the loan of the car, service and a no-fault insurance," he said.

Customers, however, will also be able to specify different levels of vehicle trim and service, with the monthly flat-rate payment reflecting these choices. At the end of the period customers will have the option to either buy the car outright, hand it back to the lessor or start a new lease on a new vehicle. All-inclusive flat rate contracts will be offered throughout Europe.

The pay-per-use contract will require C4 Cactus customers to pay a fixed monthly rate that will be lower than the all-inclusive flat rate. But in addition they will incur a monthly fee directly related to distance driven, with nothing owed if the car is not driven during the period.

Pay-per-use contracts will be offered initially in Spain, Italy and the UK. Availability in other European countries would depend on such factors as the demand in each market, local legislation and reaching agreements with local insurers, Montarnal said.

"There is a portion of the population that is not willing to buy a car, but willing to buy the use of a car," Banzet told Automotive News Europe.

Solutions such as car-sharing schemes and short-term rentals both had drawbacks in terms of vehicle availability and convenience. "We are proposing a way to only pay for the use of the car, while still having it at your disposal whenever you want it," Banzet said.

It would be of particular appeal, he added, "for either low-mileage drivers or irregular users of the car, for instance for those who don't use the car for some months in the year."

One the underlying aims of both financing approaches is the avoidance of unpleasant financial surprises at the end of the contract period.

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