French carmaker Citroen said it is slowly and steadily growing in the Indian market and will accordingly expand its footprint with more launches in the future.

The company globally unveiled the India-made C3 Aircross SUV here on Thursday, which it plans to launch in the next three months. Its dealership network will be doubled to 60 by the end of this year, and will cross 100 by 2024, senior officials at the company said.

“Citroën plans to grow globally by entering high-potential markets with affordable, locally-tailored products. Our goal is to achieve 30 per cent of sales in international markets outside Europe by 2025. Our aim is to compete successfully with local players while providing an easy ownership journey for our customers,” Thierry Koskas, Chief Executive Officer, Citroën, told reporters here.

The all-new C3 Aircross, a 4.3 metre midsize SUV, marks a significant step for Citroën to reach a new group of customers looking for an appealing, value-for-money and spacious family midsize-SUV that offers versatility of seating up to seven people, he said.

The car marks the second phase of Citroen’s C-Cubed programme, announced in 2019, adding to the existing models hatchback C3 and all-electric E-C3. The C3 Aircross will be available in two configurations — a five seater and 5+2 seater. “The C3 Aircross is a highly-localised midsize SUV that caters to the needs of the Indian market, where SUVs hold a 40 per cent market share. This vehicle has been designed with insights from Indian customers and developed at Citroën’s R&D and engineering centres in India and Europe,” Roland Bouchara, CEO and Managing Director of Stellantis India, said.

Sales target

“India is a key pillar of the Citroen strategy. It is a market that could very soon reach five million units (per year). We want to grow 30 per cent of our sales outside Europe (by 2025) and India is a key pillar for that among other regions, like for example Latin America,” said Koskas.

He added that India is playing a major role in exports and the company has already exported two-lakh units of engines from here to Europe. It has also started exports of the C3 compact SUV to Asian and African markets and will do the same for the upcoming C3 Aircross.

Koskas said with over five lakh units last year, Europe was Citroen’s biggest market followed by other regions, such as Latin America and West Asian countries like Turkey with about 50,000 units each. In India, the company sold around 9,000 units last year.