The sector to watch

Time 6:04 am, September 19, 2008

070415700_1221147239.jpgCITROEN is the latest maker to join a car sector Car Dealer tips for major growth over the next few years.

The C3 Picasso will debut at next month’s Paris Motor Show, before being launched in 2009. Making it the latest entrant into the expanding mini-MPV sector.

Sure, the Renault Modus – arguably the first mini-MPV – hasn’t really been a hit. But more well-developed models such as the Vauxhall Meriva and Nissan Note have proven the sector has legs. It is now emerging as one many major European manufactures are targeting.

Who buys them? Those seeking more practicality than a supermini, who would like a people carrier but also want something compact and, crucially, not as expensive as a Focus-sized family hatch.

The C3 Picasso, for example, is similar in length and width to a supermini. This is particularly appealing to women, who’ll adore the extra flexibility just as much as the easy-park-ability.

Citroen is actually Europe’s best-selling MPV brand, a position that’s likely to be reinforced by the C3 Picasso. But it won’t be free from competition. Ford is likely to develop a more well-rounded competitor from the new Fiesta platform, while we’re also set to see more models which add in crossover-SUV styling to a flexible interior, as a development in the sector.

Other attractions of mini-MPVs evident in the C3 Picasso include a Mondeo-like 500-litre boot (boosting to an estate car-challenging 1506 litres), good fuel economy and low emissions: the family-friendly Citroen produces as little as 125g/km of CO2.

This alone could help ensure the sector thrives in the coming years. It’s definitely one to watch.

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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

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