We believe there’s an end to the SUV, says Citroen boss

The boss of Citroen has said he believes SUVs will lose their mass appeal as buyers look for more efficient, environmentally-friendly cars in the coming years.

The rise in popularity of crossovers and SUVs has been well documented, with manufacturers increasingly offering a wide choice of the models to cater to buyers’ tastes. SUVs are now the most popular new car bodystyle, and that’s reflected in the fact that six crossovers and SUVs were among the UK’s 10 most popular new cars in 2022, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

However, Citroen’s global CEO, Vincent Cobée, says he believes “there’s an end to the SUV”, as environmental concerns and efficiency become more important in the coming years.

The e-C4 X is an alternative to a traditional SUV. (Citroen)
The e-C4 X is an alternative to a traditional SUV. (Citroen)

Speaking at the launch of Citroen’s new electric e-C4, a saloon with SUV-like styling cues, Cobée said: “This car is anticipating something we believe in, and that is that there’s an end to the SUV.

“The more you will be concerned about fuel efficiency, about electric transition, the more we can come back to more aerodynamic silhouettes.”

Citroen only has two SUVs in its line-up – the C3 Aircross and C5 Aircross – although it offers SUV-inspired styling on models such as the C4 and C4 X.

Citroen’s Oli previews more sustainable models from the firm. (Citroen)
Citroen’s Oli previews more sustainable models from the firm. (Citroen)

Cobée acknowledged that Citroen would keep “some of the interesting values of SUVs, especially the higher seating position and versatility of the vehicles”.

The top executive wouldn’t say when he expected SUVs to decline, but he hinted that the 2035 deadline, when many mainland European countries will switch to only selling electric models, would likely be the catalyst for them coming to an end.

Citroen is keen to promote sustainability and in 2022 revealed its Oli concept car, which is set to become even more important for the French firm in future years. It showcased the advantages of keeping a car’s weight down and using more recycled materials to help reduce the environmental footprint of each vehicle produced.