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New models - Citroen - C4 Cactus

New C4 Cactus a bright spot for Citroen

Colour coded: Citroen’s first allocation of C4 Cactus crossover vehicles is a sell-out success, with about a third of customers opting for the bold Hello Yellow hue.

Taxi yellow takes back seat in Victoria as Citroen buyers step up for C4 Cactus

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Citroen logo28 Jan 2016

By RON HAMMERTON

CITROEN Australia wondered why one of the brightest colours on the palette for its upcoming C4 Cactus compact crossover – Hello Yellow – was not getting top billing in pre-orders from Victorian customers as it was in most other states.

Then it dawned on the sales and marketing team that yellow is the predominant colour of Victoria’s taxi fleet.

The state-by-state colour breakdown for Cactus – on a low number of orders by industry standards – is just one of the interesting sideshows for Citroen Australia as it delves into the brave new world of selling cars ahead of launch.

Commanding just 0.1 per cent of the Australian market, the French brand has rarely had the luxury of a vehicle that has had customers willing to slap down deposits without first sitting behind the wheel.

By contrast, Ford Australia sold 4000 Mustangs – its whole first year’s supply – before the first shipload had docked in December.

But now the quirky Citroen C4 Cactus, with its knock-resistant Airbump body padding and simple-chic interior, has drawn a small but steady stream of potential buyers since pricing was announced in October ahead of its showroom release this March.

Clearly the type to stand out from the crowd, about a third of Australian customers have ticked the box for the look-at-me yellow paint job, with Queenslanders the keenest Hello Yellow fans, with almost half of Banana-bender orders in the banana hue.

White was the top colour in Victoria, although Hello Yellow was number two, despite Victorians’ aversion to all-too-common taxi yellow.

Citroen says the C4 Cactus is available in 23,184 colour and trim combinations.

These combos include a choice of Airbump padding colours, with black the dominant choice so far, ahead of chocolate.

Like Ford’s Mustang success, Citroen expects its initial allocation of the Cactus to be sold out, although it is not talking numbers.

The C4 Cactus is available with a choice of 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol and 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel engines, with pricing starting at $26,990 for the petrol and $29,990 for the diesel, plus on-road costs.

The petrol powertrain gets only a five-speed manual, while the diesel comes with a six-speed automated gearbox.

Last year, Citroen’s top seller in Australia was its Berlingo compact van, with 298 sales, ahead of the C4 Grand Picasso people-mover’s 254 units.

Overall Citroen sales in Australia came in at 1106 units, down 15.4 per cent in a market up 3.8 per cent.

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