The decision marks a significant turnaround for Citroën, as the Ami was never intended for sale in Britain. But following the reception of enthusiastic buyers and after being championed by the company’s managing director, Eurig Druce, it was given the green light.
“The response to the Friend has been overwhelming, and the momentum just built up to such an extent that we can’t say no,” Druce said. “It’s not just a vehicle with a customer base either; the Ami embodies a vision we have of future transport, around affordability and user-friendliness. Selling it here conveys those values in a way that no marketing campaign ever could.”
The Ami is only offered in left-hand drive, but with a width of 1390mm and strong all-around visibility thanks to its 2410mm length, in practice this means the driver is only seated approx. 300mm adrift of a typical car driver. Other modifications required for sale in the UK are limited to changing the charge socket to a Type 2 fitting, as well as headlight adjustments and miles per hour calibration.
It is distinguished not only by its offbeat design and its reduced size, but also by its restricted performance, intended only for use in town and over short distances. The Ami is limited to a top speed of 28mph and has a range of just 46 miles. Drivers must have a full license in the UK, although some European countries allow 14 year olds to drive.
“The philosophy of the Ami is that it should be as affordable as a mobile phone,” Citroën CEO Vincent Cobée told Autocar last year. He revealed that 80% of his 9,000 customers to date were new to Citroën, and that 50% had bought the car without ever going to a dealership. “For us, it’s both an expression of what Citroen today is about and it is paving the way for a new e-commerce economy. It is a vehicle from which we can learn.
“Today, Citroën aims to deliver personal mobility in an engaging and affordable way. If we all want 500km range, all-around performance and full autonomy, we must all be prepared to pay £100,000 for a family car.At Citroën, we don’t think this is the right way and we will be militant in our efforts to propose alternatives.
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This notice was published: 2022-05-24 08:00:00