Despite fresh new product, Citroen was almost beaten in the sales race in January by a brand that exited Australia just over seven years ago.

    Six Dodge Journey crossovers were registered in January 2024, while Citroen sold seven vehicles in total: two C3 hatchbacks, three C5 Aircross crossovers, and two examples of the flagship C5 X. No C4s were sold.

    That meant the long-dead (in Australia) Dodge brand was just one sale shy of matching Citroen in sales, despite the Journey having last been sold here several years before Dodge and Citroen’s parent companies merged to form Stellantis.

    Stellantis Australia confirmed the Journeys were field cars that had been in use by the company, and have now been on-sold.

    Citroen sales fell 50 per cent from December to January, and were down 12.5 per cent on January 2023.

    The brand was outsold by high-end brands like Aston Martin (8), Bentley (19), Ferrari (14), Lamborghini (9), Lotus (9) and Maserati (24), but it did beat out McLaren (3) and Rolls-Royce (3).

    Despite launching its new C4 and C5 X in 2022 and an updated C5 Aircross in 2023, sales have actually slumped. They were down 23 per cent last year compared with the year before, with the C4 most alarmingly down by 46.8 per cent.

    All four models were the worst-selling vehicles in their respective segments, excluding discontinued vehicles.

    The brand has only eight combined sales and services locations nationwide, though its vehicles can be serviced at an additional 23 locations.

    “I think we can categorically say we are committed to the Australian market. And it’s not something that we’re just saying, we’re showing that by the product that we’re bringing to the market,” said Chloe Fraser, group public relations and corporate communications manager, late in 2022.

    At the time, Peugeot Citroen Australia managing director Kate Gillis also said there was an “ambitious five-year plan” for the brand.

    It subsequently launched the refreshed C5 Aircross, but delayed the launch of its plug-in hybrid C5 X to the first half of 2024.

    The brand also has yet to lock in any electric vehicles for our market. Late last year, it confirmed the electric e-C4 is still “under evaluation”.

    Available VFACTS data dating back to 1997 shows 2021 was Citroen’s worst year on record with just 175 vehicles sold – around a tenth what it managed in 2012, when it had a much wider range consisting of passenger vehicles (including more premium DS-badged models) and commercial vehicles.

    That year, it sold 1702 vehicles in Australia, and it’s been downhill since then. But even 2012 wasn’t a high watermark for the French brand, as just a few years before in 2007 it sold 3803 vehicles.

    In that year, Citroen outsold Chrysler, Fiat, Renault and Skoda.

    Dodge was selling in greater volumes than Citroen is now, despite having only one model, when its parent company pulled the plug on the brand in Australia.

    The brand was withdrawn from Australia late in 2016, and that year it sold 366 vehicles (Citroen, for context, sold 424 vehicles that year).

    However, in its best year – 2011 – Dodge sold 2703 vehicles.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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