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Citroen ready to take 5% of UK market share

With Picasso winning sales and the Xantia replacement here soon, Citroen managing director Alain Favier is bullish about the future. Citroen UK managing director Alain Favey believes the C5 is good enough to take on the new Ford Mondeo, a car he praises after his company's evaluation.

##AlainFavey--left--Alain Favey## For Mr Favey, C5 - the Xantia replacement - and the Xsara-based Picasso medium MPV are the models to transform perceptions of Citroen.

"Xantia will continue for a while but I believe it will be dead in the water once people are driving the C5," said Mr Favier. "It will not continue for long in the UK."

Citroen UK will launch the C5 in early April, priced from under £15,000. It is bigger than Xantia - just as Mondeo is larger than its predecessor - and the package will be aimed at business car users.

Mr Favier is forging a reputation as a record breaker. Citroen registrations in the UK peaked in 2000 at 102,950 and that follows his record years as managing director at Citroen Belgium.

There, 45,000 vehicles in 1999 was then a record, and he recorded 15,000 as the top man at Citroen Denmark in 1998, a record which still stands.

Aged only 34, Mr Favey is ambitious about potential growth in the UK and he wants to reach 5% market share, in line with Citroen sales across Europe. He said: "The trend in market share had been downward and that has now completely reversed. We are now at 4.4% with an improving model line-up. "Picasso is doing well. In the last quarter it outsold Scenic and Zafira in the UK and the new C5 will arrive in April. With three quarters of the year to run we are confident of reaching 5%."

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