– by Tom Howell
As announced earlier this month (February 2014), the new Citroën C4 Cactus will be a revolutionary step in not only the production of cars but in the way customers buy and pay for them. The new Cactus is nothing short of spectacular in the way it will be put together, right from what the car has under the bonnet to what technology is included inside the cabin that provides the entertainment for you to enjoy your journey. The technical and engineering achievements made on this car show that Citroën have lost none of their creativity in producing a car that is different to anything else within this price and size range.
However, it is the way that Citroën plan on marketing this car that has also caused some stir. The French carmakers have announced that not only will they be changing the way you buy and subsequently pay for your car but also the way in which they’re choosing to sell is remarkably similar and can be classed as easy as purchasing a mobile phone. On the basis of that claim, you could be forgiven for thinking, “What on Earth could make that possible?”
This means in effect the customer will essentially enter into a contract like you would do for a mobile phone, however, Citroën have not released exact details stating whether the contract would be for a certain length of time e.g. 24 months, 36 months etc. or if it is simply till the customer has finished the repayment plan. The quirk with this idea is that Citroën have essentially put the customer in charge of purchasing their car with added benefits. Insurance, finance and other costs such as that of maintenance, servicing and repairs all included within the monthly-price-plan to allow for accurate budgeting. In theory, this plan could be become an essential factor in whether you choose to buy, not only a Citroën but any production car on offer in the future. A further plan of pay-per-mile is also rumoured to be in the offing that customers could choose; consequently this would be an excellent plan for the casual road user rather than the business traveller.
Citroën’s view has been that, while keeping cards close to their chest regarding the final RRP of the C4 Cactus, the cost of the C4 Cactus will be what has been labelled as “…not low cost but competitive.” Citroën have cut production cost immensely with the Cactus; simplified interiors and the use of lightweight materials has cut out unnecessary added costs when added to the overall price. Furthermore, the engines planted in the car will all be extremely frugal and clean thus cutting costs of re-fueling, tax and insurance.
Citroën have always done things their own way (and we all know that Citroën definitely have their own way of doing things!). The Cactus could herald a new era in not only the way cars are produced but also marketed. One thing is for sure; Citroën have lost none of their creativity out of the production factory either.
This post was written by Tom Howell, keen writer and Citroën enthusiast working at Contract Hire A Car.