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Automaker Stellantis is seeking to step up its presence in India by launching three new closely localised automobiles underneath the Citroen model, beginning subsequent 12 months, stated its CEO Roland Bouchara.

The Amsterdam-headquartered firm was shaped earlier this 12 months after the merger of Fiat Chrysler with Peugeot-maker PSA.

First off the block will probably be a brand new model hatchback C3 – positioned on the coronary heart of the market within the sub-4-metre phase – which will probably be launched within the first half of 2022. The new C3 is the primary mannequin in a household of three automobiles by Citroen aimed on the worldwide market. These automobiles will probably be developed and produced in India and South America, and launched in each areas over the following three years.

The new launches are aimed toward lowering reliance on the European market and increasing footprint in rising economies over the following few years.

Bouchara informed ET that Citroen tailored its typical design and manufacturing course of, and entrusted a part of the styling and improvement of the brand new C3 to the native group to fulfill the wants of Indian customers.

“The new C3 will be the backbone of our local development strategy. The vehicle fits right into the heart of the Indian market, where 70% of the demand for sub-4-metre cars and 50% of customers are first-time buyers. This segment has been growing rapidly and the C3 will fit in with its attractiveness and affordability,” stated Bouchara.

B-segment hatches comprise 23% of the passenger car market in India.

The new C3 has been developed on the CMP platform, and can have localisation content material of greater than 90%. Premium sport utility car Citroen C5 Aircross, launched in April, is predicated on a distinct platform.

“By 2025, the median age of Indians will come down to 25 years. The B-segment is seeing a lot of interest from young buyers. It is highly competitive but has potential to expand further,” stated Saurabh Vatsa, Citroen model head, India. “With the new C3, we are targeting young progressive Indians who are tech-savvy, fashion-conscious, aspiring to new-age technologies, and want their car to reflect their personality.”

He stated the corporate’s customisation technique will play an enormous function in providing differentiated options to such consumers.

Bouchara declined to specify the volumes Citroen is concentrating on with the launch of the B-segment hatch subsequent 12 months however stated the intent is to be a mainstream participant within the native market. “We will launch one new vehicle every year for the next three-four years,” he stated.

Citroen expects India to emerge as one of many greatest development drivers for the model within the subsequent 5 years. At current, it has sellers overlaying the highest 10 Indian cities, stated Bouchara. The distribution community will probably be expanded forward of the launch of mass phase automobiles, he stated.