April 20, 2021

French automaker Citroen to financial institution on SUVs to grow to be a serious participant in India

New Delhi: French automaker Citroen, which is about to enter the Indian market later this yr, is banking on closely localised automobiles and rising client desire for sports activities utility automobiles to emerge as a serious participant within the nation over the following few years.

Roland Bouchara, senior vice-president (gross sales and advertising) at Citroen India, whereas conceding that India is a “powerful market” stated it additionally offered an enormous alternative to Citroen over the following few years to evolve into a serious participant. “Passenger car gross sales in India are anticipated to develop to five million items every year over the following few years. Secondly, the share of SUVs in total PV gross sales has been rising. With this type of segmentation and given our portfolio, we’re assured we will emerge as a serious participant right here,” stated Bouchara.

The share of SUVs in India’s passenger car gross sales elevated to 29% final yr from 25.6% in 2019. Whereas total passenger car gross sales fell 18% in 2020 amid the disruption attributable to the pandemic, the SUV section carried out a lot better with solely a 6% drop.

Citroen, a part of Groupe PSA, will enter the Indian market with the launch of premium SUV Citroen C5 Aircross shortly. This could be adopted by automobiles on a brand new platform (CMP), which has been designed and developed holding in thoughts the wants of Indian shoppers. The automobiles shall be made utilizing greater than 90% of domestically sourced elements and materials.

“We’ve got additionally localised the gearbox and the powertrain even earlier than launching our first car, which no different producer working right here has completed. We’ve got made small modifications in our technique primarily based on our learnings from the market,” Bouchara stated.

Citroen declined to share the timeline for the launch of the primary car on the brand new platform, however stated it’s going to introduce a brand new car yearly within the nation to shore up volumes, beginning 2021. Groupe PSA is investing greater than 100 million euros on the brand new platform. The C5 Aircross relies on a unique platform.

Citroen expects India to emerge as one of many largest development drivers for the model within the subsequent 5 years.

The corporate has already appointed sellers for overlaying the highest 10 Indian cities, Bouchara stated. The distribution community shall be expanded additional forward of the launch of mass section automobiles. The C5 shall be accessible with diesel engines, which shall be assembled domestically. Automobiles developed on the CMP platform underneath the C-Dice programme, nevertheless, will come strapped with solely petrol engines.

“To start with, we are going to give attention to petrol engines for automobiles underneath the C-Dice programme,” stated Saurabh Vatsa, senior director (advertising and PR Operations) at Citroen India.