Part of the Paris-based Group PSA, which also includes brands like Peugeot, DS, Opel and Vauxhall, brand Citroen will begin operations in India by the end of the year 2020. Their first product will be the Citroen C5 Aircross SUV. The initial product and the ones which follow will be localised to Indian tastes and will be built in India. Citroen’s Indian arm will also be responsible for the development of new international products, which will be introduced here, before making their debut elsewhere.
Starting in 2021, the brand will also launch one new product every year after the introduction of the C5 Aircross SUV. This is a part of Citroen’s ‘C Cubed’ strategy, which stands for Cool, Comfort and Clever. Cool illustrates Citroen’s unique and bold French design, Comfort highlights their approach towards building cars which are easy to use and Clever rounds off building new-age, highly localised cars which will meet customer expectations. The announcement to enter the Indian market is a part of the brand’s ambitious “Push To Pass” plan which charts a course for them to become a global player. Citroen’s products in India will be backed by a new-age and digital customer experience and a vast physical distribution network.
The 100-year old brand has associated with India’s CK Birla group for their foray into this market and aims to set new benchmarks in the areas of comfort, style and innovation with the C5 Aircross. The manufacturing facility is being set up at Tiruvallur in Tamil Nadu and powertrains will be developed at Hosur in the same state. The brand’s India website is now Live and a dealer-partner Live tour will commence on the 1st of July, 2019.
Coming to the Ambassador, brand Citroen understands the emotional connection we have with that car and they wish to resuscitate the name in India. However, there is still some thinking to be done about its revival, as Citroen wishes to do so with care and respect. The C5 Aircross SUV which will be launched in India will be the new-generation model that will go on sale here, before being introduced elsewhere.
The current-gen example is quite a handsome looking car and is available in Europe with a choice of 2 petrol and 2 diesel engines. The C5 Aircross will also be the first Citroen vehicle which will be equipped with a plug-in hybrid power train by the end of 2019, which should offer a range of 60 km in an all-electric mode. Whether this will be offered in India could be anybody’s guess.
Some clever features of the C5 Aircross include Airbumps on the body panels, which take minor bumps and nicks in their stride and still retain their form. The cabin is a contemporary place to be and has been fitted with most modern-day convenience features and electronic safety aids. It will be an interesting battle, with new players like Kia, MG Motors and Citroen, slugging it out with established names. Keep the popcorn ready.