Citroen gears up for India entry in 2020, offer C5 Aircross SUV

  • Through the C5 Aircross SUV, the company aims to create market acceptance for Citroen products in India.
Citroen C5 Aircross SUV. (Courtesy: Citroen UK)
Citroen C5 Aircross SUV. (Courtesy: Citroen UK)

Set to kick off India journey next year, European auto major Groupe PSA is initially targeting ten cities for Citroen brand through smaller, yet highly digitised showrooms, with an aim to help its dealers to invest judiciously on premises, as per a senior company official.

The company, which formally announced to enter the Indian market with Citroen brand early this year, is looking to create a seamless digital experience for prospective customers of its first model -- C5 Aircross SUV.

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"Through our network, we aim to bring in a digital disruption for a seamless customer experience," Citroen India Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing Roland Bouchara told PTI.

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Prospective buyers will be able to research and chose model variants, transact for finance and insurance digitally, he added.

With high digital intervention, the brand aims to have comparatively smaller sales outlets in the country.

"Since we are setting up a new network, we are proposing a different business model to our dealers, wherein we will have relatively smaller showrooms but digitalised," Bouchara said.

It will ensure a competitive premises investment, but a stronger all encompassing digital environment, he added.

Elaborating on the physical retail set up, Bouchara said the brand aims to establish presence across ten cities in the country before the roll out of C5 Aircross SUV next year.

"To support the launch of the C5 Aircross SUV, a premium C-SUV which will help us establish and deliver the Citron brand experience, we will initially cover ten cities through Citron network," he said.

This will include all the key metro and tier-1 cities where the brand sees potential buyers for the C5 Aircross SUV, he added.

He, however, did not share the exact number and locations of dealers the brand aims to have for the first phase.

"We are building the complete retail eco-system in the country, which is essential before we launch the first product. This will be supported by service contracts and trade-in plans which will be announced during the launch phase of the vehicle," Bouchara said.

Through the premium SUV, Citroen aims to create market acceptance for Citroen products in India, he noted.

Citroen has lined up ATAWADAC - Any Time, Any Where, Any Device, Any Content - a seamless digital consumer experience created for Indian market, which it plans to roll out in international markets as well.

"It (ATAWADAC) will allow the customer to seamlessly research products, select variants, and configure options and transact for service contracts, finance and insurance," Bouchara said.

The digital first approach is inspired by new-age Indians leading digital lives, he added.

The brand has already stated to roll out four models in India over the next four years beginning 2021, after its launch here in 2020. It has already established leasing and finance arms in the country to make the C5 Aircross SUV and other upcoming models accessible for the consumer financially.

Groupe PSA is Europe's second-largest carmaker after Volkswagen. It sells three brands — Peugeot, Citroen and DS.

The company 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.

In 2017, PSA Groupe announced a partnership with CK Birla Group to re-enter the Indian market.

First Published Date: 09 Dec 2019, 13:30 PM IST
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