High retail prices and relatively meagre equipment levels have compelled Citroen importer Sime Darby Motor Group to cull the C3 light hatch from its line-up. It has struggled to find buyers in the ultra-competitive light car segment.
Priced from $19,990 for the entry-level C3 Seduction manual and topping out at $25,990 for the C3 Exclusive automatic, the C3 range has had to fight against a hefty price disadvantage.
By comparison, the range-topping Mazda2 Genki manual costs the same as the base model C3.
Factor in the low output of the base 60kW/118Nm 1.2 litre three-cylinder engine, and the C3 is again outgunned by the Mazda, which offers an 81kW/141Nm 1.5 litre engine.
The Citroen is simply too expensive to compete.
The Peugeot 208 Active, also imported by Sime Darby, retails for $18,490, yet also outsells the C3 by a sizable margin.
Though still dismal, sales of the C3 have actually been up year-to-date compared with 2014. However Sime Darby confirmed to TMR that this was due to aggressive discounting by dealers as the model is being run out.
And it’s unlikely to return. Speaking with TMR, Sime Darby spokesman Tyson Bowen said that the C3’s inability to compete in the market meant it’s on an indefinite “hiatus”.
“With C3, we could never compete on price,” Bowen told TMR.
“We’ve got to look at the full range. We’re looking at where we’re strong and where the offering is weak, and the C3’s price simply could not get where it needed to be."
“But as far as the C3 is concerned, ‘dropped’ is probably not the right word. It’s on hiatus.”
However, with the current C3 already into its sixth year - retirement age for most passenger cars - it’s not likely we’ll see it return to our shores in its current form.
If the C3 does make a comeback, it will probably be as an all-new model.
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