French car-maker Citroen drives into India with C5 Aircross SUV

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French automaker Citroen began its official journey in India on Wednesday with the launch of its debut vehicle, the Citroen C5 Aircross SUV. Citroen, part of the European auto giant PSA, had planned to launch the SUV in India in the second half of 2020, but it was postponed due to the pandemic.

“The Citroën C5 Aircross SUV will establish our brand in India and show what Citroën is capable of. With this launch, Citroën is opening a new chapter in India and you can expect plenty of action in the next few months with the unveiling of the first of our new family of B-segment cars, ”said Vincent Cobee, CEO of Citroen. said at a digital launch event.

The 5-seater premium SUV is available in two versions: Feel and Shine. The Feel (Mono-Tone) variant is available at a special introductory price (from Showroom Delhi) of 29.90 lakh, and the Feel (Bi-Tone) is available for 30.40 lakh. The Shine (Mono-Tone / Bi-Tone) costs £ 31.90 lakh.

“With our disruptive products and services, we are questioning the status quo and reinventing the model of car buying and selling in India. With over 1,000 reservations to date, the C5 Aircross is clearly one of the most anticipated SUVs in India and we look forward to our trip to India with this introduction, ”said Roland Bouchara, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing. Citroën India.

Phygital showroom

The Aircross SUV is sold through the La Maison Citroën Phygital showrooms in 10 cities including New Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad. The company also offers 100 percent online shopping, direct from the factory, with delivery to your doorstep in over 50 cities across India.

“Of the roughly 1,000 pre-reservations, around 15 to 20 percent were made online by customers, which is really interesting,” said Bouchara during a media interaction prior to the digital launch event.

Two factories

The French automobile giant has two factories in Tamil Nadu. A plant in Hosur for the production of transmission components (engine and transmission) and a vehicle assembly plant in Thiruvallur, a joint venture between the PSA Groupe and the CK Birla Group. While the Hosur plant has a capacity of 300,000 units, the Thiruvallur plant can assemble 100,000 units annually. It has invested £ 2,000 crore to date.

While the C5 Aircross is coming to India as a CKD (Completely Knocked Down) model that will later be assembled at the company’s Thiruvallur plant, Citroen is also working on a C-Cubed program that is targeted at the Indian market and a 100 percent one Aims at localization. As part of the C-Cubed program, Citroen intends to launch a new vehicle for the next five years from 2022.

“The capacity of the Chennai plant is 100,000 units. We will use part of it for C5 Aircross SUVs and the system is scalable in terms of capacity. We will take advantage of this when we switch to the C-Cubed program in the coming months, ”said Saurabh Vatsa, Senior Director, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Citroën India

He added that the company is currently not considering vehicle exports, but is exporting engines and transmissions to the Europe region.