Citroën UK is cutting back in the low-margin fleet and hire vehicle markets to concentrate on higher-value private customers this year.

“There’s no point in going for volume if you are not making any money,” said Citroën UK Alain Favey Alain Favey. “UK new car sales are running about the same as last year and we are maintaining our 6.4% market share concentrating on retail sales.”

This has meant cancelling deals with hire car companies. “It is just one of those things, but with the strength of the pound against the euro we have to make decisions on these things.

“Sometimes it works the other way and we have a good enough relationship with the companies we deal with to be able change our arrangements.”

Favey was speaking at the launch of the Citroën C2, an important new model for the company.

“The B-segment is the growth area of the market right now,” said Favey. “In the past five years it has grown from 25% of the total UK market to 35% so the C2 is a very important addition to our range selling alongside the C3 and the Pluriel.”

At launch this month the three-door C2 will have a choice of 1.1, 1.4 and 1.6-litre petrol engines plus a 1.4-litre diesel with five trim levels.