Should we worry?

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Stinkwheel
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Should we worry?

Post by Stinkwheel » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:15 pm

Right, ive a question and some thoughts.

Should we as a club (either BXC or the CCC) be worried about the lack of turn out at events compared to say only 10-15 years ago?

Ive been around Citroens and Citroens events my whole life one way or another and ive been in the CCC on and off since 1997 ish and 2CVGB since 1995.

In the 1998-2003 time span, stratford was bigger, nationals were much bigger, X rally didnt exsist at the time but i have during this period seen local section rallys with beigger turn outs than that of this years X rally (111 cars i believe)

We know there are reasons, some owners getting older, less young blood getting into the cars, prices rising and parts availability falling and most worryingly the seeming huge drop off in numbers of these older citroens actually around and about.

So my questions, is the golden age over ? Are we rapidly becoming a community of tiny numbers? Can anything be done about it?
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Re: Should we worry?

Post by Tim Leech » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:18 pm

I share your concern Mat, the National Rally this year mustered some 200 attendees, where 10 years ago it would have been 3 or 4 times that, but times are a changing, the computer age means you dont need to meet up in a field full of old cars and search through dusty boxes for parts, plus where as some people you only see at Rallys you can email. Plus I think cost of fuel will have some bearing on it and of course modern Citroens just dont have the same kind of dye hard fan anymore.

Just my two penneth.
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Re: Should we worry?

Post by Stinkwheel » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:23 pm

I think you have a couple good points there Tim.

It all saddens me.

I actually blame citroen themselves slightly, they just dont make anything really 'special' anymore.

OK a C6 is nice, or even a nice C5 but what makes it special against any other big top end car?

The hydraulics arent even what they were anymore.
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Re: Should we worry?

Post by Tim Leech » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:36 pm

For me a Citroen needs to have something a bit different, the 2CV isnt my thing but I can see why people like it, its very simple and unique.

It all went wrong when the C5 came out, ok I am sure its a fabulous towcar and as comfortable as an old pair of slippers but it was ugly without being quirky (like an Ami for example)...and the new model tried to be a 3 series and failed, miserably.

Now its just a average but capable saloon car (no hatchback) with coil springs and a patchy reliablility record. The C6 was wonderful, but too complicated and too pricey new and the Picassos are practical in a mumsy/motability/elderly people kinda way.

The new C4 isnt as stylish as the old model and the DS series are a bit pricey, but again they are steel sprung and have a hard ride, which for me defeats the object of a Citroen.

Shame.

Ill stick to a BX thanks with its covered rear arches, single wiper and of course the "magic lever" and keep it waxoiled....
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Re: Should we worry?

Post by Defender110 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:46 pm

Stinkwheel wrote:Should we worry

Not unless you've been diagnosed with a crippling illness or similar bad news no!
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Re: Should we worry?

Post by Mickey taker » Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:47 pm

part of the problem could also be date clashes ,
a lot of 2cv's that would have probably joined the cxm meet came to our transport day ,
by the way transport day is a week later next year to avoid a repeat clash ( mainly so I can get to both :D )
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Re: Should we worry?

Post by Dollywobbler » Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:49 pm

What I've noticed is that there seem to be more BXs than Gs, and more Xantias being preserved than BXs. Can't really comment on the general Citroen trend, though it's interesting to know that 2CVGB has more members than CCC. Oldies were very thin on the ground at the Stratford meet, so perhaps folk with older cars prefer a Traction Owners Club meet.

The only sizeable non-2CV-only Citroen gathering I've been to in the UK was the ICCCR, which was remarkable. I've never been to a Citroen gathering that came close to matching that. Do we need our European friends to make a Citroen meeting exciting? If meets were more of that nature, then I'd be tempted to go. As it is, I've been to a couple of CCC Nationals (pre Tim) and they were not very interesting at all.

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Re: Should we worry?

Post by MULLEY » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:58 pm

I think the issue is probably a bit simpler than whats been mentioned. The vast majority of people only want to drive the latest model, they don't own the car, its financed so they hand it back after a few years & get another new car. For those who can't afford to do that, they just buy a car that fits their image within their price bracket. Its a white good these day's, most people have no interest in car clubs, they think that we are strange, as they have no interest in what they are actually driving, its just an image thing. Your average person does zero maintenance & i mean zero maintenance. I've had conversations with a few people who genuinly thought that the mot or the service would pick up issues like the tyres pressures needing to be topped up, checking the oil level was always greeted with a "WHY" comment. People just jump in, drive to their destination & thats it, they have no interest in motoring related stuff whatsover. They don't know anything about their car such as the engine size, does it have a cambelt or chain, does it have a DMF, EGR Valve etc...its all alien to them, they just aren't car enthusiasts. If you mentioned that you just take your BX out for a drive to have some fun, they don't quite understand what that means, "how can you have fun driving" i usually get asked. Cars are just an appliance like a washing machine, when was the last time you heard anyone talking about washing machines, let alone a club about them ;) We are a dying breed.
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Re: Should we worry?

Post by Kitch » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:41 pm

It's a shame, but Citroens on the whole aren't popular cars and the turn out at events will always reflect this. I agree with Tim - times are changing.

Plus the events themselves are a bit sleepy, so it's hard to justify driving hundreds of miles to go to one for me. Stratford this year was a total joke, and it was only the social aspect of the BX side that made up for it being so cack. If I didn't have the BX....jesus I'd be unhappy! :lol:

You've also got to remember that before tinternet and BXC, there would be a lot of BX-related socialableness (yep, real word....honest) waiting to erupt at a handful of events through the year (the same for other models too, I would think). Now, you get your fix here or on Facebook daily.

The other thing is where old Citroens aren't cool with the younger folk (it's all VAG and BMW these days) the younger ones aren't getting into the (I don't want to use the word 'scene') and that's where a lot of the enthusiasm would come from.

Still, the fact we've got our own stand at the NEC is a massive deal IMO.

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Re: Should we worry?

Post by Thread Bear » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:47 am

General trends are events down in numbers attending. Its costs, comforts, traffic and distractions. Date clashes do not help. Trying to please all the people is a hard act. I tend to be more interested in active events, jumble and a lively social group. There seems to be a large group who effectively use a car club event as an excuse for a caravan weekend. Not knocking it, just not what I want to do as I do not really understand it. Might be lucky as I live somewhere real nice so do not need to get away from it. Maybe that has nothing to do with it.

To me an event has to either be a National where the key is on gather numbers and looking at the odd, rare and incredible. Smaller events hang more on the active ingredient of location or visitation. If the reason for the get together is interesting then the people pulled in should have commonality and socialise off the back of it. Thus local and smaller events rely on a supply of interesting places to maintain interest.
The contrary feeling is for event by tradition. We go to Bogthorpe Park because we always have. That has a life span as the pull wains over time, A spell away by an individual and a revisit for old time sake to find some people doing what they did 20 years ago. This is not dynamic and will not encourage new active membership, in my opinion. Though revisits on special years pulls the older punts back in.
All this attention to additional active events requires a workforce. If that pool of volunteers is reducing then all the ground cannot be covered. Especially as people are loured into expecting more out of the entry fees.
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Re: Should we worry?

Post by Dollywobbler » Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:58 am

Going back to 2CVs, which have the advantage of a production run counted in decades rather than years, numbers have been declining - the London to Brighton run didn't happen this year for the first time in a LONG time. The club membership has actually remained fairly static though so while the number of surviving cars has dropped, the percentage of owners who want to be part of a club has risen dramatically.

I get the feeling that (to a lesser degree) the BX is just starting that phase. BXs are less about just a cheap, daily motor and more about a classic to cherish (or somewhere between the two for many of us). The reality is though that survivor numbers are so low that I doubt BXC will ever feel much bigger than it does now. And the CCC is always going to struggle as it casts its net so wide. CCC really does feel at the moment like a club that likes old Citroens and new Citroens, but not really the stuff in the middle so much.

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Re: Should we worry?

Post by Tim Leech » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:02 am

Dollywobbler wrote:Going back to 2CVs, which have the advantage of a production run counted in decades rather than years, numbers have been declining - the London to Brighton run didn't happen this year for the first time in a LONG time. The club membership has actually remained fairly static though so while the number of surviving cars has dropped, the percentage of owners who want to be part of a club has risen dramatically.

I get the feeling that (to a lesser degree) the BX is just starting that phase. BXs are less about just a cheap, daily motor and more about a classic to cherish (or somewhere between the two for many of us). The reality is though that survivor numbers are so low that I doubt BXC will ever feel much bigger than it does now. And the CCC is always going to struggle as it casts its net so wide. CCC really does feel at the moment like a club that likes old Citroens and new Citroens, but not really the stuff in the middle so much.

I would disagree slightly with you on that one Ian, the Xantia and Xm sections are always very busy, at this years National most of the cars there were 80-to early 00's.

The 2cv prices continue to rise as they get older which means they are out of reach of some new enthusiasts, plus 2CVGB wouldnt suit everyone :lol:
1985 BX 19GT Mk1
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Re: Should we worry?

Post by Stinkwheel » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:14 am

Interesting to see everyones views, i think one i hadnt considered was the 'people just dont have an interest in cars anymore, let alone old ones' is very good point.

I feel its a shame that future and current generations will never get the spectacle of 3 or 4 long rows of CX's, G's etc all in one place.

Im a bit of an old fool that goes weak at the knees when it comes to classic citroens, i do feel its a shame people just see them as cars nowadays in a lot of cases.
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Re: Should we worry?

Post by Tim Leech » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:20 am

New Cars like Mulley says are white goods, its a consumable, they will pay X amount for it but give it a couple of years will soon change for a new shiny one that has more bits on it, I see it every day (and glad people dont keep them 10 years and run them into the ground now), the average change cycle is about 30 months.
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1980 Morris Marina 1.7HL
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Re: Should we worry?

Post by Dollywobbler » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:40 am

The classic movement is still enormous. There are a LOT of people who still like cars. But sadly, a lot of it is driven by a desire to be the same. So you get folk wanting Morris Minors (ha!), MGBs and Triumph Stags but not often trying something a bit different. Citroen folk always desired something a bit different in the old days. Modern Citroens just don't feel different enough.