While Citroen’s Indian entry was already a big event for the industry, its magnitude has clearly increased in scale since the French automaker is now a part of the Stellantis group – the fourth largest auto partnership in the world. The Citroen C5 Aircross’s success is not just key to establishing the automaker in the Indian market but it also could be a deciding factor for Stellantis’s future plans for India.
Citroen C5 Aircross
When will C5 Aircross launch?
The Citroen C5 Aircross will be unveiled in the Indian market on February 1. And it is expected to launch soon after the Indian premiere. C5 Aircross will be taking the CKD-route to the country and will be assembled at a manufacturing unit near Chennai.
Pricing and rivals
The C5 Aircross is expected to be priced at somewhere around Rs 30 lakh (ex-showroom). Post its launch, the SUV will take on the likes of Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Compass, Skoda Kodiaq and the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace as they all fall in the same price range.
Powertrain and variants
The Citroen C5 Aircross is likely to be offered in a single, fully-loaded variant which will be a powered by a 2-litre diesel engine which will be paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Further specs are awaited after the unveil.
Features to expect
The Indian-specced C5 Aircross could see a lot of alterations keeping the market in mind but some of the key features will include an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, panoramic sunroof, dual-zone climate control, hands-free parking and much more.
Dealerships and locations
Citroen will be beginning operations with its unique La Maison dealerships in India. La Maison literally translates to home in French and La Maison Citroen would mean ‘home of Citroen’. The La Maison showrooms are expected to boast a unique experience for customers with the 3D configurator, virtual museum, vintage car display and the signature large glass facades and the Citroenist Cafe are expected to enhance the experience.
The first 10 cities to get the La Maison showrooms will be Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Kochi. The first La Maison dealership is expected to be inaugurated in Ahmedabad very soon.
Citroen’s future in India
Citroen has come up with a very comprehensive strategy for the C5 Aircross in India and Groupe PSA is vouching for its brand to do well as soon as the first offering enters the market. Citroen is already aiming to launch a new model every year based on its C-Cubed platform which underpins the C5 Aircross. One of the key goals of the automaker is to achieve close to 100% localization.
Next Citroen launches in India
Citroen is already working on its India-exclusive model which will be a B-SUV. Codenamed C21, the compact SUV will be quite similar to the Citroen C3 B-SUV. The C21 has already been spotted testing in India and will take on the rivals like Kia Sonet, Tata Nexon, Hyundai Venue, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Nissan Magnite and the likes of those. The C21 is expected to be powered by a 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine and if the industry reports are to go by then the B-SUV could be aiming for a late-2021 launch.
“India is a tough market because two major players are representing approximately 65 percent of the market for quite a long time, Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai…then there are many brands which have been here for more than 10-15 years have a market share between 2-3%,” Citroen India Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing Roland Bouchara told reporters in a virtual conference.
The dominance of the two companies is based on the fact that the hatchback segment is representing probably 50%of the market at this stage, and Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai represent around 80 per cent of the segment, he added.
Bouchara said,”I believe the segments will evolve as well. If you consider last year, the SUV market is representing 25% of the market which was not the case five years ago. So, the overall structure of the market will change and the hatchback segment will probably reduce while others like SUVs will gain share”
With agency inputs