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Groupe PSA charts out multi-pronged strategy for a long drive in India

G Balachandar Chennai | Updated on January 21, 2021

Citroen C5 Aircross SUV to hit market this quarter

Groupe PSA has indicated that it is putting in place a multi-pronged strategy to stay and grow in India over the long term as the French automobile giant is undeterred by the exit of a few big players from the Indian market.

The management of Indian operations is seeing many factors that will help grow the Citroen brand, under which the company will sell its models in the country.

Digital push

In India, while on the one hand, the average age of buyers is coming down, on the other, the increasing number of enquiries and sales is on the digital medium. This will augur well for Citroen brand as it has chalked out a phygital format for seamless omni-channel experience.

Also, the company aims to make a differentiation with the introduction of its globally-popular urban retail concept ‘La Maison Citroën’ in India. This concept is all about comfort, convenience and warmth to provide an enriching customer experience with a strong digital flavour at its dealerships, said Roland Bouchara, Senior Vice-President – Sales & Marketing, Citroën India.

The first showroom based on the La Maison Citroën’ concept has come up in Ahmedabad, while nine other such showrooms are in the process of getting ready before the launch of first vehicle (Citroen C5 Aircross SUV), which is expected to be rolled out during this quarter. Ramp up of showrooms will happen depending on the requirements.

Joel Verany, Vice-President – Sales & Network Development, Citroen India, pointed out that Citroen’s urban retail concept would propose a new way of buying experience in line with expectations of Indian customers. The pandemic has only accelerated the sales push towards digital medium. We will have all in one digital platform for the new age buyers.

Bouchara felt the ongoing segmentation in the car market, SUVs in particular, would help the Citroen brand.

SUVs accounted for a fourth of the market last year and it will continue to grow as many customers will be upgrading to higher segments. The trend will help Citroen’s SUV growth.

He also explained that Citroen’s product strategy was different from other western OEMs in India. The Group’s new C-Cubed platform will roll out one new product every year for at least 4-5 years for the Indian market, giving not only a wider choice to the Indian car buyers, but also ensuring Citroen’s presence across segments.

After-market segment

Meanwhile, the Groupe PSA has already entered the Indian independent after-market segment through its global multi-brand label Eurorepar via a tie-up with GoMechanic, a technology-enabled aggregator of local car workshops for multi-brand car servicing. This will play a huge role on the service side. Also, the strategy is expected to help PSA establish Citroen brand more firmly in India and attract a large customer base.

The company is planning a production capacity of one lakh units a year initially at its Thiruvallur plant (near Chennai), which is a JV between PSA Groupe and the CK Birla Group. It has unit in Hosur to

Published on January 21, 2021

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