No automaker can afford to ignore a market with huge potential like India, where the current ownership rate is only 40 cars per 1,000 inhabitants.
The country of more than 1.3 billion people could become the second China for carmakers which is why most of them are developing strategies to tap into this potential gold mine. At the moment, India is particularly attractive for companies that build affordable cars and Citroën is one of them.
The brand was assigned the role of covering the lower end of the market for PSA Group so it should come as no surprise that Citroën is now entering the Indian market — the only surprise is it took the French marque so long to do it.
Citroën today made official its arrival in India during a press conference in the south Indian city of Chennai attended by PSA Group Chairman Carlos Tavares and Citroën brand CEO Linda Jackson. The company sees the move as a major step in its internationalization strategy and says it will introduce “a range of new models with an international scope in this market.” The first of those new vehicles will be launched by the end of 2021.
The first Citroën model to arrive in India, however, will be the new C5 Aircross SUV, scheduled to go on sale from 2020 on the subcontinent. Citroën says it will use the same formulas that proved succesful in Europe, including a strong and differentiating product offering focused on design and comfort, “unrivaled customer experience in the automobile industry,” and price positioning at the heart of the market in India.
The latter will be made possible by the high level of local integration (over 90 percent) based on the two joint venture agreements between the PSA Group and CK Birla Group for car assembly and distribution, as well as the production of powertrains.
These joint ventures will also help Citroën launch its new range of models that will first launch in India by the end of 2021 and later on in other markets. There aren’t many details about these new Indian-built models but the carmaker said it would launch them at a rate of one per year.
The program is called “C Cubed” as it is defined by three Cs: Cool (referring to the design), Comfort (well-being on board and ease of use for all occupants), and Clever (intelligent conception and high-level of local integration to meet the core of the market’s needs).