Thu, 15 Apr 2021

After quite a few faux pauses, PSA Peugeot Citroen Group which is now part of the larger Stellantis Group announced its Indian entry in 2017. The first Citroen product was originally scheduled to be launched in our market in 2020 but the pandemic has forced the European auto giant to postpone it to 2021. With just days left for the official launch of Citroen C5 Aircross flagship, new details about the medium-term product lineup have emerged.

Citroen India's product pipeline

We all know that the next Citroen model for India will be the heavily localized sub-4m compact SUV which goes by its codename CC21. Based on the Europe-spec C3 Aircross, the vehicle is currently undergoing extensive testing and is slated to be ready by this year's festive season.

An electric version is also in the pipeline. The CC21 will be near 100% localization to arrive at a competitive price point which is imperative to create a strong first impression in a value conscious market.

Also on the cards is a Creta-sized crossover codenamed CC24 which is scheduled to enter India sometime next year. This segment has proven to be the most lucrative space in the country's passenger car market in the recent years. The CC24 will take on the well established rivals like the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos, and the upcoming VW Taigun and Skoda Kushaq twins.

Citroen CC26

Citroen India's SUV-centric product pipeline doesn't come as a surprise but in a bid to offer variety, the French brand is also developing a mid-size sedan. To be pitted against the Honda City, Hyundai Verna and Maruti Ciaz, the upcoming sedan codenamed CC26 will enter production in 2023.

The C-sedan segment is being steadily encroached by mid-size crossovers in the last few years and by 2023, it is expected to have even less market share. However, PSA thinks this space will still be sizable enough to accommodate an all-new model.

Betting big on exports

ET Auto has accessed the French automaker's medium-term production plan for India. The domestic production projections are rather conservative and the company is betting big on exports from day one to derisk its Indian operations and maximize the return on its investment in expanding CK Birla Group's manufacturing facility near Chennai.

Not surprisingly the Citroen CC21 compact crossover is projected to spearhead the company's Indian operations both in terms of domestic and export volumes while the CC24 mid-size crossover is expected to churn out around 2,200 units a month in domestic market once settled in.

However, by 2026, the company expects the CC26 sedan to be its best seller in the domestic market. Are sedans going to stage a comeback? Citroen seems to think so.

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