Citroen design chief Alexandre Malval says the brand plans to offer cars with "laid back" designs inspired by iconic models such as the 2CV and Mehari. He explained why in an interview with Automotive News Europe France Correspondent Bruce Gain.
How does the new C3’s design reflect Citroen's new brand identity that started with the C4 Cactus?
This model is the first C3 that is not a shared design between DS and Citroen. It is the first time we had the freedom to do what we want without DS. It was also exciting to design a car that had the spirit of the Cactus without being a Cactus. It also had to be complementary to the Cactus. Subcompacts represent about one-fifth of all car sales in Europe so the segment is obviously very important in volume sales. Given the popularity of subcompacts in Europe, it is almost iconic and the designer who is successful earns a lot of respect.
What style elements will future Citroen models share with the C4 Cactus and C3?
The Cactus and C3 give us a base to work with. One risk is that if we follow the Cactus' and C3's styling cues for different models too closely, then people could become bored if all the models' styling becomes too homogenous. We need to continue to offer something different. Still, we want to explore the new overall brand identity in different silhouettes and we are confident about how we can make bigger cars, such as SUVs, in this spirit.
What is Citroen's spirit?
The true spirit of Citroen is something you see with the first Mehari, the 2CV and the CX. These cars are serving as references and inspiration for Citroen today. We are, of course, trying to translate these designs into something very contemporary while paying a lot of attention to customers' modern needs, such as for connectivity. Being different is part of Citroen's DNA. The reason why we are still making cars today is that we have a story to tell about how we are unique.