Days after European auto major PSA Groupe announced the launch of Citroen brand in India, there are reports that the Citroen C5 Aircross SUV will be the first product of the car-maker in India. The Citroen C5 Aircross, which was globally unveiled in 2018, is expected to hit the Indian market before the end of 2021. During the presentation of 2018-19 financial results, PSA Groupe Chairman of the Managing Board Carlos Tavares confirmed the group's intention to launch Citroen brand in India.
Speaking to the media, Tavares said, "Citroen will be back to India no later than 2021. We have selected Citroen as a brand that we are going to use to come back to India. We have already invested, we have already created a manufacturing footprint in India". "We have a powertrain plant in India, we have a vehicle plant in India, we have a partner and we are now building a network to support the launch of this new brand in the country," he added.
The brand is also gearing up to announce a family of disruptive international products which would also be used in the Indian market. In 2018, the Citroen brand sold 1.05 million vehicles in over 90 markets. PSA Groupe, which sells three brands - Peugeot, Citroen and DS - is no stranger to India, having entered into a partnership with the erstwhile Premier family resulting in JV Peugeot PAL India. However, it pulled out from the JV in 2001.
Post that, the group had made repeated attempts to return to the Indian market. In 2009, it decided to go slow on plans to kick off operations in India due to a global economic slowdown. Later, in 2011, it announced plans to re-enter the Indian market with a mid-sized sedan, ten years after it had exited the country. The plan, however, did not materialise.
In 2017, PSA Groupe had announced a partnership with CK Birla Group to re-enter the Indian market and earmarked an initial investment of 100 million euros to set up plant for vehicle and powertrain manufacturing in Tamil Nadu. The tie-up entailed two joint venture agreements between the groups.
Here is a full review of the comfort class Citroen SUV:
The new Citroen C5 Aircross, which is one of the design finalists for the prestigious World Car Of The Year (WCOTY) design award, measures 4500 mm long and is powered by a 2-litre diesel engine and 1.2-litre petrol engine. Both the engines are mated to an eight-speed auto transmission as standard and are already being manufactured at the Hosur plant for exports.
In addition, the cabin comes with an attractive 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system along with a 12.3-inch TFT-digital instrument screen and sports 20 new age driver assistance features. The upcoming model is expected to give a tough competition to the Jeep Compass and Hyundai Tuscon in India.
PSA Groupe, which has so far invested Rs 600 crore in the plant, is targeting to manufacture 50,000 units in the first year of its operation including exports. The manufacturing plant has a capacity to roll out 200,000 powertrains and 300,000 transmissions in a year.