Here’s a good example: If you’ve opened up an American or a European car magazine in the last month or so you’ve probably seen a two-page ad for the new BMW 2-Series that shows the red coupe driving next to an Inka Orange 2002. The same ads are run in Chinese magazines but the 2002 has been edited out of the shot. Buyers don’t care about old models, they’re simply not part of China’s history because they were never sold there in the first place and it’s illegal to import them today unless you’re a foreign diplomat.
With this mind, we were surprised to find a stunning blue CX Athena displayed on the Citroën stand at the Beijing Motor Show in order to commemorate the car’s 40th anniversary. Few people seemed to notice it, and we’re guessing the ones who did wondered “what the hell is wrong with the suspension?” Folks were more interested in the DS 21 that was displayed on the DS stand (DS-badged Citroëns are sold in standalone showrooms in China) but we couldn’t get anywhere near it because it was surrounded by iPhone-wielding show-goers.
The CX has an interesting connection to China: In 1984, Citroën sent 2,500 CXs to China in hopes of being awarded a contract to provide the country with a large car. The contract was awarded to Volkswagen, but Citroën was given permission to build small cars locally and it started producing a four-door version of the ZX hatchback locally in 1992.
Going back to the Beijing show, if Citroën shipped a CX all the way from Paris to Beijing to celebrate its 40th birthday we imagine there are great things in store for this October’s Paris Motor Show.
Note: We took the photos above on April 20th, the show’s lone press day, but we’re only getting around to publishing them today because WordPress (the software we use to publish Ran When Parked) is banned by the Great Firewall of China.