Citroen to showcase first model for India on April 3

the asian age

Business, Autos

Will it be the C5 Aircross that was spied testing earlier? Or will Citroen surprise us all?

First Citroen car for India to be launched before end-2021.

First Citroen car for India to be launched before end-2021.

Could be the C5 Aircross mid-size SUV as it was spotted testing before.

Citroen cars to be heavily localised in India to keep costs in check.

The PSA Group is set to enter India once again with the Citroen brand. Its first product for India will be showcased on April 3. However, it will be launched only by 2021.

Yes, Citroen has confirmed that it will reveal its first model for India next month, thus marking the official entry for Groupe PSA in the country.

Likely to kick things off with a bang, Citroen’s flagship C5 Aircross SUV could be its first car in the country. Caught testing in India earlier, the C5 Aircross is a premium mid-size SUV that goes up against the likes of the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, MG Hector and the top selling Jeep Compass.

The C5 Aircross is offered with two diesel and petrol engines in international markets. While there is a choice of 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre diesel engines, the petrol ones include turbocharged 1.2-litre and 1.6-litre engines. These come mated to standard 6-speed manual along with an optional 8-speed automatic gearbox.

Expected to hit showrooms by end-2021, well after the BSVI and new crash safety norms come into effect, the C5 Aircross will meet all regulatory requirements in India. And according to Linda Jackson, CEO Citroen Cars, whom we caught up with at the Geneva Motor Show recently, the carmaker is looking to heavily localise all its cars in India.

With plans to launch at least one model a year, Citroen aims to take the slow and steady approach. Apart from the C5 Aircross, the carmaker is likely to bring in more SUVs and crossovers from its global lineup, but with a specific focus on the Indian customer.

According to Jackson, comfort, robustness and value for money will be the core focus areas for Citroen as a brand in India. The carmaker, under the leadership of PSA Group, has already set up a manufacturing facility and an engine plant as part of a joint venture with the Birla Group.

Apart from Citroen, the French conglomerate comprises of DS, Peugeot, Opel and Vauxhall brands as well. Groupe PSA first entered the Indian market in 1994 with the launch of the Peugeot 309 notchback. However, labour issues and low sales caused the carmaker to call it quits in 1997.

Will it be a different story for the French carmaker this time round? We will get a fair sense of what to expect soon enough, so stay tuned.