Citroën Launching In India Next Year, Announces Affordable Car Lineup From 2021

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).

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  • Mike anonymous

    Am I the only one who’s excited?.. because I’m pretty excited.

    • Belthronding

      I have been there 4-5 times and believe me never seen something makes me excited
      (Ok their food is perfect to me,i can give you that:) )

  • Ilbirs

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the next C3, underpinned by the CMP, will have a length below the 4-meter barrier to pay less taxes in India. I’m also not surprised that the most used small engines in PSA lineup today are the 1.2 Puretech in Otto flavor and the 1.5 BlueHDi when it comes to Diesel cycle. “Coincidentally” these are the displacements that revert in less taxes being paid in India and if applied there it’d mean a lot less adaptations than the ones seen in other engine families from other brands.

  • KareKakk

    Still not sure if using the Citroën brand for a fresh start in a huge developing country, pardon the expression. I see the benefits and simplicity in using a well known brand of mostly high prestige, but as Renault-Nissan uses Dacia, Datsun and Lada for the same market segments, mayby a revival of the Talbot brand would be a safer bet for PSA. Plenty of free PR for getting that brand back: if it’s a success everybody is happy, if it fails then not much is ruined.
    If on the other hand the Citroën brand fails in the Indian market, the sales may suffer in every other market too. Or maybe Citroën is destined to join the Talbot at graveyard anyway some day… :-/

    • uS’gedlemba

      Just let that dream about about the resurrection of Talbot go, and Citroen is not going anywere.

    • Joe

      Dacia is not offered in India – in all developing and global markets Dacias are sold under the Renault brand, the reasons for this being well documented by Renault elsewhere. Lada is not offered in India either. Models marketed as Dacia in Europe are sold as Renault in India and elsewhere (see Renault Duster, Renault Logan, Renault Sandero, etc. and the very Dacia-like Renault Kwid and Renault Oroch, plus the Russian and Indian market Renault Kaptur using the Duster platform wrapped in a Captur-esque body).
      Datsun hasn’t exactly been a roaring success in India by any means (sales have fallen by half year-on-year so far in 2019), and analysis of the Indian market suggests that buyers will at an absolute minimum only buy from lower mid-range brands and up due to negative perceptions of budget/low-cost brands and models – see the flop that was the Tata Nano, but the enduring popularity of Suzuki and Hyundai (foreigners around the mid-range of this market that offer low end models, rather than brands literally introduced to be basic transportation and therefore perceived below all others). Indian friends I know even perceive Maruti Suzuki as being beneath them, and it owns above 50% market share, but see Hyundai (fighting the same market position) as minimally acceptable.
      Introducing Talbot as a low-cost brand would fail in India, because it would be obvious that that is its purpose, so would launch out the gate with a budget/cheap reputation, which is a turn off. Plus, launching an entirely new brand (or rather, resurrecting a long dead one) is an enormously expensive undertaking, even for just one market. It would have to be a global commitment to make the financial input worthwhile, and even then it’s likely unnecessary. Even if it is a budget brand, models would have to be differentiated in some way from other PSA products or it is a pointless exercise.
      Citroen, if they can position themselves correctly, has every chance of being as successful as Renault in India. They already have a global product range that is suitable, or easily adapted to, the Indian market. They are an established foreign brand with a heritage of not being bottom-rung in brand, price and quality. They must avoid their Chinese market issues though – poor branding/marketing (PSA admits in another article they don’t market the ‘lifestyle’ of their brands well anymore, or that they’ve slipped off buyers’ consciousness in a crowded market), below average reliability/workmanship, and being too quirky versus competitors (i.e. the typical French design thing where the layout is different just to be different, making the functions hard to navigate versus rivals). But you say you already see the simplicity in doing this…
      As for Citroen’s global future, sales seem to finally be stabilising in their main markets (except China) and the brand has generally done a very good job of building an identity. PSA is profitable also, so there’s no reason to bin a successful brand anytime soon.

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