Stellantis, despite a slow start, looks at as a market with huge potential. This is why they have invested around a billion euro (Rs 8,788 crore) in India.
The Citroen C3 Aircross is also the first car model developed by its Indian engineering and design team in sync with their Latin American counterparts specifically keeping in mind the India and export market requirements.
The right-hand model based on the modular platform was developed over four years, and also marks Citroen’s focus now competing with the market leaders (read Korean counterparts) to grab a piece of the lucrative above 4-metre SUV market share. While the company has not revealed the price for the model, the management says it will be ‘priced closed to the market competition’.
When asked about the exact investment made behind the development of the model, Roland Bouchara, CEO & MD India, Stellantis didn’t give any specific number but said the Citroen C3 Aircross has been completed by its team in the country, which makes it one of the few global players to have capabilities to design, develop and manufacture a vehicle right from scratch.
On the other hand, Thierry Koskas, CEO, Citroen, who was present at the launch, mentioned that the Asia-Pacific region, including India would play a key role for the company’s 2030 target of having 30 percent sales coming from outside Europe.
At present, Citroen has three models on sale in India, starting with the C5 Aircross SUV, C3 SUV (petrol & electric) and the upcoming C3 Aircross, with one more model to be launched next year.
Till date, the Stellantis Group (under PSA Automobiles) in India has sold 7,243 units in total. The ambition for the company however is to grow sustainably with its partners. Currently, Citroen has a network of around 30 dealers, with plans to grow the network to 75-plus by the end of 2023 and cross the 100 mark by next year.
Koskas says, the company does not believe in “just creating fireworks”, but wants to ensure sustainability for its dealer partners as well.
Going forward, while Citroen has not clarified the number of models it aims to introduce in the coming years, it is evident it will introduce several models (in petrol and electric) to grab a share of the lucrative Indian passenger vehicle segment.