Citroen Mulls Mehari Revival to Add Fun to the Brand
17 Juin 2015 - Automotive News
Citroen is considering a revival of its iconic Mehari lightweight utility car to help give the brand a “fun” image, CEO Linda Jackson said.
Citroen built 150,000 units of the open-sided, canvas-roofed Mehari between 1968 and 1987. The car had a diverse customer base. It was used as a beach buggy by holidaymakers and by farmers to get around their fields. Its thermoplastic body also made it light enough for the French army to drop the car attached to a parachute from an airplane.
Jackson said Citroen’s new brand positioning is about selling cars that are fun and give people a happy feeling. “Maybe there is a place for the Mehari. It’s something we are considering,” Jackson told the Automotive News Europe Congress here on June 10.
PSA/Peugeot-Citroen CEO Carlos Tavares wants to reduce the number of cars sold by the company as part of his turnaround strategy for the automaker. His Back in the Race business plan includes reducing the Citroen lineup to seven core models by 2022, down from 14 now.
Jackson said the future core models would be “silhouettes” from which different variants could be produced so a modern Mehari could be developed as a variant of a future subcompact car.
The Mehari was based on the 2CV, another Citroen car that has iconic status. Jackson said the 2CV will not be revived. “The 2CV had its day," she said, "but that's not now."