Citroen's 60% rise this year in registrations across the UK has been eclipsed by its performance in Scotland which has managed an 80% increase.
The top five car manufacturers have lost ground in Scotland this year, with market leader Ford seeing its share of new cars slide from 13.27% in the first 10 months last year to 12.48%.
Citroen UK managing director Alain Favey said: “It's all down to our dealers in Scotland. The network is strong across the whole of the UK but especially so in Scotland. They are a strong, cohesive unit which has worked hard over the past 12-16 months.
“That, in conjunction with Citroen always being value orientated, has possibly helped in Scotland. Maybe Scots are more receptive to value offers than the rest of the UK.”
Mr Favey thought a third factor might be the make up of the Scottish market. The small car sector was stronger in Scotland than the rest of the UK, he said, and that might be why Saxo, up 20%, was doing proportionately better.
Citroen's market share in Scotland rose from 3.75% over the first 10 months of 2000 to 5.87% this year, led by Picasso. Every model shows an increase apart from Xantia, down 71% (from 395 sales last year to 112 in 2001).
Mr Favey is already warning Scottish dealers not to expect a similar improvement next year. “That just wouldn't be feasible,” he said. “Obviously we can't expect to maintain such a high rate of growth and expansion year after year. It is just not possible.
“I would like to see a further overall growth in both the UK and Scotland of around half a percentage point. We must now concentrate on consolidation. The leap across the UK this year, from 103,000 to 150,000 units, has put an incredible strain on the dealership network. Over the next 12 months they must have time to draw breath before we push again.”
Mr Favey believes much of next year's growth will come from the new C3 which he believes will attract people planning to buy Ford's new Fiesta.
“It makes sense that anyone looking at the Fiesta is likely to look both at the Renault Clio and the C3. More than 80% of Picasso sales are conquests – if we do the same with C3, it will be successful.”