Dare avant-garde - the Citroën experiment on the blog
Citroën has been a topic on the blog since July 2022. An experiment started with an uncertain outcome. Actually for the reason that I have a certain sympathy for Citroën. Because I have the idea of adding a CX or XM to the Saab, that could fit well in the hangar. And because I just felt like an additional topic.
Readers remember that almost exactly 2 years ago, another brand ventured onto the blog. Volvo, the traditional brand from Gothenburg, always bigger than Saab and unfortunately Chinese today. Actually, we thought there was sympathy for the other Swedes, then Mark also bought a new Volvo and we were convinced that it would fit.
It didn't fit. It went horribly wrong. Volvo and Saab, it was always rivalry and never love. I underestimated that. The mood among the readers deteriorated rapidly, which rubbed off on the team, and within a few weeks nobody wanted to hear the name Volvo anymore. The Gothenburgers were considered undesirable and kicked off the blog faster than they became an issue. That was the end of the Volvo Liaison.
Dare to be avant-garde
With Citroën as the theme, things seemed to be completely different from the start. Surprisingly, the readers came out as fans of the brand or as people with a Citroën history. Lizi spontaneously started looking for a classic with the double angle, I was close to bringing a BX from the greater Barcelona area to Germany. At least one reader bought a Citroën Type H, and the posts were well read.
In fact, we have experimented. What really matters? Is it the classics, the icons DS, ID and CX that are exciting? Or is it the new Citroën that Stellantis is rolling off the assembly lines? And how is the interest in the Nobel Citroën spin-off DS Automobiles?
The result, based on readership numbers that are incorruptible, is perhaps unexpected. Maybe not, because the blog project is of course primarily aimed at friends of historic vehicles. One might think. But it is not that easy.
Reader numbers are incorruptible
In fact, the topics related to the Citroën classics are the ones that are the most popular. 11.760 people found the post about the Citroën CX Concorde worth reading, but then the curve goes down rapidly in steep flight. If you look at the Citroën brand, especially with regard to the current models, then the Minivan found interesting by 3.080 readers.
It leaves all other current vehicles far behind. A corrugated iron imitation that reminds of the big time. A rolling sentimentality. Of all things.
At DS Automobiles, interest is even more muted. The DS 9 Opera Premiere found 1.354 interested people. These are numbers that should be compared with the Concorde.
As mentioned, it's easy to do. People who are mainly interested in old sheet metal read here. That would be simplistic, but not the whole truth. Because more than half of the Citroën readers are new to this site and come from external links, and now at the latest one could allow oneself to think about the current positioning of the brand.
If you wanted it. But I don't want that. I am not aiming for a market analysis for Citroën or wisdom from a sympathizer's point of view. The strategists at corporate headquarters can do everything better.
The future of Citroën Avantgarde on the blog
The question is whether we want to continue to dare to be avant-garde and leave Citroën on the blog? I know that some people in the Saab scene do not like the topic. That's to be expected, but that's the writers' freedom to write exactly what they like. About Saab, Citroën, or with a side glance somewhere else.
The critics will have to live with it.
Because the Citroën Avantgarde will not disappear, so not from these pages. It is true that our classic dreams with the double angle in Barcelona and Frankfurt have been shelved for the time being. In fact, many really great Citroën drove us in front of the radar, actually as bycatch. Finally a stunning XM.
But we didn't have the courage to do it.
Why? Classic cars are not a topic at Stellantis. So not real. It is true that automotive icons are always rolled out of the magazines and presented to the public if they appear useful. As a bridge to the glorious past, as a legitimation of the present.
But obviously nobody really cares about them. The reality is different. There is no functioning supply of spare parts for youngtimers and classics, so support will be discontinued as soon as it is legally possible.
Citroën C6 fans, the ones who are currently suffering, know only too well what I am writing about.
Everything that happens to the old avant-garde, or not, rests on the shoulders of third parties. There is a great, committed scene, companies and workshops that are highly recommended. But some of them require long ways if the classic gets a real problem. Saab is there, in direct comparison, a Swedish wellness oasis.
The garages in Barcelona and Frankfurt will remain pure Saab biotopes for the time being. In theory, at least, because in some hall there is another BX GTI that actually deserves to be revitalized.
And again the thoughts are circling, the BX doesn't want to get out of my head. Life, with its many possibilities, can be quite complicated.
16 thoughts on "Dare avant-garde - the Citroën experiment on the blog"
Greetings from California!
The lineup from 10 years ago:
Of course, I welcome the fact that you continue to write about Citroën here. I now stop by more often and even read about Saab. The two brands are completely different and still have something in common, I like the topics you report on.
I come from Citroën, but I'm no longer the target group of the brand. In other words: I'm more inclined towards the discontinued models: C5/C6, Xantia, XM, BX.
And the fact that the reports about Citroën are continuing, and that you reported yesterday, Tom, now seems to match the encounter I had yesterday on the A66 when driving from Frankfurt to Lüneburg. Something appeared in the distance that was unmistakably older. So I had to speed up a bit to figure out what that is. Definitely red. And I had to get very fast, 170 km/h..... and a little bit more.
It was a neat BX GTi in red with an old license plate, maybe even a first owner. So we rode a few kilometers together at this pace. So that was an omen 🙂
Another BX GTI, then also in red. Maybe really a sign?
I haven't seen anyone in years. And then…first like a mirage….and then he was in front of me, next to me, behind me, next to me, in front of me……..that's a sign.
Citroën, my first car love! Having grown up with 2CV and Ami 6, I drove 10CV and Mehari for about 2 years later. Then came the Lancia motorist section with two Deltas and later, after long years in Africa, came Saab. And so I've been driving Saab for more than 20 years now. But Citroën always works for me, I still dream of an SM 🙂
If you don't dream of an SM from time to time, you've probably never seen it...
I think it would take some explanation not to do it.
I also preferred reading the Citroën posts here to the ones about Volvo.
However, I feel the same way with the double angle as with the “Chinese”. I'm interested in vintage and youngtimers, not the present. But it's not just the case for the two of them. Basically, I'm largely indifferent to current cars.
A Citröen DS will also be added to the large SAAB inventory at the beginning of 2024! It is being restored from the ground up.
I think Citröen is a welcome addition to the SAAB theme, because it's completely different, but like SAAB it's more of a product for individualists!
What might be a topic that needs to be deepened, the restoration of SAAB vintage cars, just like 2-stroke sports or Monte Carlo! Or also restoration of 900, 9000s! So that the exchange of experience for such projects can be intensified.
Exciting - congratulations, a DS always fits.
Restoration becomes an issue, since there is the 99 that we from the underground car park drawn to have.
I think it's good that Citroën is staying on the blog. I also liked reading Volvo back then, but the Geely brand seems to be somewhat neglected at the moment. Is there too little love for the Swedish investment and are the new brands like Polestar, Zeekr, Lynk Co more important and profitable? Might be worth contributing too, Tom?
What does the ordered C3 Aircross actually do? Is there an update coming?
I will provide a current update on the Aircross next week. Things turned out a little differently than we thought. Volvo won't be an issue anymore, but I have a feeling similar to what you describe.
Well, if I'm honest, Volvo would have more sympathy with me than Citroen, regardless of whether the (“bad”) Suvs, or the station wagons and limousines, I like them, even the completely new models, but whatever.
Citroen C6 or Renaul Vel Satis or Avantime and the new DS models, I find them interesting because they are different and relatively rare to find on the street. But we don't want to do the youngtimers at the moment, because who should take care of them. I couldn't think of anyone in my area who would like to work on something like that. At Saab I have 4 different specialists who could help me if the worst comes to the worst
I think this is a real problem. I wouldn't have anyone in my area who would work with a Citroën youngtimer. Too exotic?
What characteristic emotional vehicles were the old Citroen (in retrospect)! So it's no wonder if these are of interest to SAAB and Citroen fans. Aged sheet metal always has easy friends.
Today it is much more difficult to attract fans to a brand. The “externalities” have become too similar. differences came noticeable. It has become arbitrary.
This has already been described many times here.
Unfortunately, Citroen is not a big/real exception...
But: maybe it's the age 😉 of the readers...
The numbers alone are exciting, Citroën has lost a lot of the fascination of the early years. My bet: At some point a Citroën will end up in the Saab hangar!