Groupe PSA to launch Citroën cars in India

Driving into India:The group’s ambition is to conquer new markets, says Carlos Tavares.AFPERIC PIERMONT  

French auto major Groupe PSA said it planned to introduce Citroën brand in the Indian market as the range meets future industry norms and customer expectations.

The firm, which had signed a joint venture agreement with the CK Birla Group that once sold Ambassador cars in India, said the vehicles would be produced in Tamil Nadu. The first vehicle under the brand would be launched before the end of 2021, the company said.

During the presentation of FY2018 financial results and the second phase of its strategic plan, Carlos Tavares, chairman of the managing board, Groupe PSA, confirmed the group’s ambition to conquer new markets and announced that the Citroën brand had been chosen for the Indian market.

Citroën has been a popular brand since 1919 and in 2018, the group sold 1.05 million vehicles of the brand in more than 90 markets.

The India project was announced as part of the ‘Push to Pass’ plan and launched at the beginning of 2017 with the signing of two joint venture agreements with the CK Birla Group.

The group’s aim is to “be Indian in India,” to manufacture vehicles and power trains in Tamil Nadu and to bring state-of-the-art technology for an eco-friendly new product range.

Making power trains

“This project means to be fully integrated in India with a comprehensive eco-system including local production of vehicles and power trains, distribution of vehicles and services as well as procurements for the whole group,” said Emmanuel Delay, executive VP, head of India-Pacific region in a statement.

“Today’s milestone represents a significant step to meet customers’ expectation in India soon,” he said.

“We are very proud to launch Citroën in India. Building on the brand’s success in Europe with five consecutive years of growth, I am convinced that Citroën’s selling proposition of unique styling, eco-friendly and comfortable cars at the heart of the market has all the potential to satisfy Indian customers,” said Linda Jackson, CEO, Citroën.

“Announcement of Citroën brand for our vehicle JV in India, soon after the inauguration of the powe rtrain JV greenfield facility at Hosur in late 2018, is a major milestone for the long term partnership of PSA Groupe and CK Birla Group,” said C.K. Birla, chairman, CK Birla Group of Companies.

“It is truly an exciting brand for the Indian consumers seeking international eco-friendly products designed for and made in India with unique styling and comfort,” Mr. Birla said.