Category: Automakers

Claude Satine: “Our Game Is To Give Pleasure To Customers”


Video: Claude Satine: “Our Game Is To Give Pleasure To Customers”

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Claude Satine: “Our Game Is To Give Pleasure To Customers”
Claude Satine: “Our Game Is To Give Pleasure To Customers”

- I admire the success of Citroen in sports. I appreciate Loeb, I like the car of the champion, and at the same time worry about the upcoming departure of the Citroen team from motorsport in the new year.

- I would not speak so categorically about the departure of Citroen from sports. We just refused to participate in the 2006 world rally championship as an official team. We will be engaged in motorsport. The reason for rejecting the rally is that returns at very high costs do not correspond to investments. We are negotiating with the Automobile Federation, offering to reduce the costs of participants. If we reach mutual understanding, then we will return in 2007. *

I also want to note that in the next year’s championship private teams will continue to participate in the Citroën prepared for the rally, as it was already this year. So let's get less pessimism.

- Now a little about something else. I know that, including for the Russian market, you would like to introduce the C6 model, which will compete with Audi-6.

- Yes, the main competitors in this model are Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class. But it also needs to be emphasized that neither the Audi A8, nor the BMW 7 Series, nor the Mercedes S-Class are.

- If you will, will I name the advantages of your competitors?

- You are welcome.

- BMW 5 Series is assembled in Russia. Audi A6 has a unique FSI 3.2 engine, multitronic gearboxes combined with all-wheel drive and adaptive suspension, as well as a stable high image. What are the trump cards of C6?

- You are truly talking about our competitors - they have more powerful motors, more advanced mechanics. Citroen has a different strategy - our car looks more elegant and more comfortable inside. With these trump cards, we also rely on the attention of Russian customers, not at all pretending to conquer the entire Russian market. We are pleased to share it with our competitors, even if only those with 3.2-liter engines and four-wheel drive transmission.

- You have every chance to do it, because cars are bought for love …

- That is why we believe that our strategy will work without more powerful engines.


- We started the conversation with sports, which means that the topic of competition is already in the air. Today, many manufacturers have moved to the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Among them is the Citroen. Billions are also being sent there by Korean manufacturers, and Volkswagen is also launching component production there. What motivates you to “fight” in this sector when the huge free Russian market is nearby?

- Everything is very simple. Last year, the European Community included ten more independent states. Thus, the center of gravity shifted to the East. Sales of our machines in Europe are growing, so our decision to build factories in Eastern Europe is quite natural. These enterprises, I emphasize, will not produce cars only for the East European markets. They are an integral part of our company’s European industry, and their products will be sold everywhere. The peculiarity of all Russian automobile projects that I know of is that it starts production in Russia and only for the Russian market. We simply do not have such offers, and we are not ready for them.

- If you look at how the Russian market is developing and the sales of Citroen, it seemed that in the first half of the year a certain imbalance could be noted.

- But now we are ahead of the market - only in July, sales growth amounted to 74%. In any case, working in a developing market is very pleasant, especially when there are favorable conditions for the dealer network. Perhaps we have chosen not the best strategy, relying on independent importers, but the choice has been made. We believe that it is better to trust Russian importers - it is easier for them to navigate. However, they also need time to make the necessary investments. This process is ongoing in various cities of Russia, and I am satisfied with the situation.

- A question from another area - the brand image. Mercedes, say, creating its image, plays tennis, BMW plays golf, Hyundai flooded everything with its balls and plays football. What does Citroen play?

- Our game is to give pleasure to customers.

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