Companies

Peugeot eyes Maruti territory with small car, entry sedan

Roudra Bhattacharya New Delhi | Updated on November 15, 2017

Shifts head office to Ahmedabad





PSA Peugeot Citroen is now planning to take on market leaders Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai by the horns despite being a late entrant into the country.

At least two Peugeot models for the mass segment are on the works back in France, slated for an India launch starting 2014. The first is likely an entry sedan, followed by a Maruti Swift-competitor premium hatch, both of which are based on its ‘M3' low-cost platform. These models will be made locally at its new Rs 4,500-crore plant in Sanand, Gujarat, a company official said.

“The plan is to start with these models when the plant starts in two years. We will need more mass models to make our plant viable. Many different models can be made on the platform, I think around 2-3 cars will come,” he told Business Line.

An official from a domestic component supplier added, “The sedan based on the M3 platform is for the emerging markets. It is expected to come with a 1.3-litre engine, likely turbocharged since Peugeot is a diesel expert. It will compete with cars such as the Fiat Linea.”

Office shifted

The French carmaker, which participated at the Delhi Auto Expo this January, aims to use 2012 and 2013 to build a sales network. Initially, it will import and sell three models, ‘RCZ' sports coupe, ‘3008' crossover and ‘508' premium sedan.

Peugeot, which is switching its India headquarters to Ahmedabad from Mumbai on Wednesday (February 1), is also looking at the “possibility of a non-OEM partnership” in India.

“We don't need help in production, but maybe marketing or investment support. Our India plans and investment commitment remains intact. With a tough financial situation, growth in such markets is essential for the future success of the Group,” a company official said.

The firm has decided to save money by exiting cash-draining activities such as motor racing – Peugeot left the prestigious 24 hour Le Mans this year. However, sister brand Citroen continues its WRC (World Rally Championship) participation.

>roudra.b@thehindu.co.in

Published on January 31, 2012

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