French car manufacturer Groupe PSA (consisting of Peugeot, Citroen, and DS) is also planning to enter the Indian car market, following hot in the heels of other manufacturers like Kia, MG motors and Lexus. The Groupe plans to launch its Citroën brand in the country. Earlier this week, the company announced that their first locally produced car will be launched soon.
Citroens strategy is the same as Kia and MG, two companies that have also decided to introduce their cars in India by setting up manufacturing facilities here. Lexus, on the other hand, has introduced its cars as CBU (Completely Brought Up) imports, which is an extremely expensive route to take.
Carlos Tavares, Chairman of the Managing board, confirmed PSAs strategy during their presentation of Financial Year 2018 results. It was then that the Groupe confirmed that they had chosen the Citroën brand to represent the company in India. This was declared as a part of the Push to Pass plan, which began in 2017 after two JV (joint venture) agreements with CK Birla Group.
The setting up a manufacturing facility in the country is also a part of their strategy, which the company describes as be Indian in India. Citroen will be manufacturing vehicles and powertrains in Tamil Nadu and has installed state of the art facilities to promote an eco-friendly car lineup. This is the extent of what has been revealed at the moment, and any further detailed would follow at a later stage.
Citroën Chief Executive Officer Linda Jackson had this to say, We are very proud to launch Citroën in India, one of the fastest growing markets in the world. She then continued, Building on the Brand’s success in Europe with 5 consecutive years of growth, I am convinced that Citroëns selling proposition of unique styling, eco-friendly & comfortable cars at the heart of the market has all the potential to satisfy Indian customers.”
Chairman CK Birla Group of Companies, C.K. Birla, was quoted saying It is truly an exciting brand for the Indian consumers seeking international eco-friendly products designed for & made in India with unique styling & comfort.
Citroen is expected to hit Indian roads before the end of 2021 after their production facility starts operations. Earlier this week, Groupe PSA issued an official statement. “Citroën is Groupe PSA chosen brand for the Indian market and its range meets future industry norms and customers expectations.” This doesnt come as a shock to anyone, as a test vehicle sporting Citroen logo on the hood was spied on Indian almost a week back.
The test vehicle has been identified as a Citroen C5 Aircross. It will be PSAs premium compact SUV offering for the country, which is currently the most hotly contested segment in the Indian market. The car will go against established competitors like Maruti Suzuki Brezza, Honda WR-V, Hyundai Creta, and the newly launched Nissan Kicks. Even with such capable cars competing against the Citroen, the company expects to grab a small share of the compact SUV segment, which would be fine for the beginning.