With some surprise we have already reported on the Salon in Paris. So where they just sell conventional models with conventional engines and manageable technology - what do you actually get as a customer?
And we mean now, apart from fully equipped press test cars, highly subsidized company leasing calculations, but: real cars, paid for with real money.
There would be: Nissan Micra, Suzuki Ignis, Opel Karl Rocks and Citroën C3. All fish in the shark tank for less than 15.000 euros, everyone wants to offer a bit of lifestyle, a bit of show and a certain difference to the establishment.
On closer inspection, however, the putty falls out of your glasses.
The materials that are now used there are speechless. We're really not big fetishists now, but if an entire rear door panel is made of a pressed piece of hard plastic? We're not talking about touch quality, feel, smell and noise at all. Having to look at something like this alone is an insult - also (and especially!) For 15.000 euros.
A little bit of color, a little bit of fabric, maybe even some design? Sure, it costs money. But isn't the customer worth it? Do you really have to optimize the profit in such a way that the look is “cool” at first glance, but turns out to be a total disaster on the second? Sure, how often do we drive with passengers, who is often sitting in the back of their own car - these are all arguments. And the manufacturer uses them to shamelessly keep the price high without offering any countervalue.
In the past - and we mean it seriously - this has never happened before. Alone because there was no possibility to produce such large injection molded / plastic molded parts in one piece in free form. At that time there was maybe a little bare metal to be seen, but at least it was: variety, colorful, happy. If you close the rear door handle in the Ignis two or three times, you won't get the dirt out of the open-pore (!) White plastic. The main thing, however, is that the coffee-to-go mug has been cut to size.
And yes, Karl and Ignis may compete in a really competitive segment, we would have expected the new Micra in particular to have more. From the outside, he is a very successful throw, the driver position is also really good. Fine steering wheel, good ergonomics and attractive materials at the front. Only in the back then the same disaster as in a Dongfeng.
The pleasant exception - and therefore actually our biggest trade fair highlight - was the C3 from Citroën. You have to see it as a tasteless cactus that has packed all the ingenious ideas of its big brother into a mass-compatible look. Everything is really right here: nice on the outside, can be combined a thousand times in the wildest colors. Inside with fine upholstery fabrics (and a large selection of the same), well thought-out dashboard and attentive details. But above all, good design and attractive material.
In short: the Citroën C3 is simply lovingly made.
This attribute is completely missing from the other manufacturers. The ruble has to roll, otherwise little counts. Stupid only if at some point the customer is tired of simply getting money out of his pocket for a nice bill, but then has to descend in the harsh (plastic) reality.
A little bit of joy in the car, is it really that difficult?