Citroen's new CEO, Linda Jackson, has a tough task ahead to ensure that the brand is successful in the highly competitive mainstream market now that its upscale DS line has been made into a stand-alone marque. A key to the brand's future will be offering models that offer technology that is useful. Jackson, an English national, is the first woman to lead the brand and the first non-French executive to hold the post. Jackson spoke with Automotive News Europe France Correspondent Bruce Gain.
What are your priorities for Citroen now that DS is a stand-alone unit run by your colleague Yves Bonnefont?
It is a good opportunity for Citroen to go back to what we were always extremely good at, which was designing cars that offer an innovative difference. Citroen is renowned for its design at affordable prices for mainstream customers. We clearly need to focus on our four key pillars: design, creative and useful technology, comfort and our optimized budget initiative.
Could you provide more details on your optimized budget initiative?
For example, in Spain, customers pay a certain amount, which covers costs such as insurance and parts replacement. This way, the customer can spend what they want to spend. If they want to spend more, they move up a level. In the UK, insurance is very expensive, so we offered the previous C1 with an insurance deal for 18-year-olds.