French carmaker Citroen announced its entry into the Indian market with the unveiling of the C5 Aircross. The mid-size SUV is scheduled for launch in India towards the end of 2020. Citroen has plans to make India its manufacturing hub for the global RHD markets. Let’s take a deep dive into what we can expect from the French carmaker for the domestic market.
Apart from the Citroen C5 Aircross, the company has announced its plans to launch one new car every year in India from 2021 till 2023. The new products will be manufactured and launched in India before being introduced in the global markets. Citroen hasn’t revealed whether these will be all-new products or new-generation models of the existing range.
Production & Sales
Citroen has already partnered with Avtec Ltd, a CK Birla Group company, which currently manufactures powertrains for the French carmaker at its Hosur plant. The PSA-CK Birla Group partnership will use the latter’s other facility in Tiruvallur to produce Citroen cars in India. The company has collaborated with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for engineering and R&D. The Chennai-based engineering team has been entrusted to lead the product localisation charge and design cars according to the needs of the Indian consumers.
Citroen is looking at localisation of up to 90-95 per cent for its cars in India. The company has a conservative target of selling 1 lakh cars in India, once they have established themselves in the domestic market. That is a market share of roughly 2 per cent.
The ‘C-Cubed Programme’ stands for Cool, Comfort and Clever. Cool illustrates Citroën’s unique and bold designs, while Comfort highlights the comfortable ergonomics and connectivity options. Clever demonstrates the company’s ability to be at the heart of the market and develop global-spec cars that will be highly localised to meet Indian customer expectations.
To support its range of new cars, Citroen is planning a unique customer experience that will be backed by a disruptive and seamless phygital (physical + digital) distribution network with a ‘brick to click’ orientation. It will include personalized digital sales and service processes. Furthermore, Citroen will open its first dealership in Delhi, which will be followed by the Citroën Dealer Partner Live Tour in India from 1 July 2019.