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European auto giant Groupe PSA plans to re-enter the Indian car markets by the end of 2021. Their plan is to launch their Citroen brand. While at the Geneva Motor Show, Citroen's global CEO, Linda Jackson said the automaker sees India as a critical pillar for expansion outside Europe. She said Citroen sees "real opportunity" in India and their strategy is to "be Indian in India" by way of high localisation.
In an interview with ET Auto, Linda Jackson said the following —
Citroen has done well in Europe and other markets, but still need to become more international. India clearly is a real opportunity for growth. It's already a 3.6-million market and forecasts say it will grow. Citroen's branding and positioning will make an impact and offer something different.
Citroen has over a million in sales and most of that is concentrated in Europe. There are plans of doubling sales outside of Europe - from 20% in the next three years to 40% by 2021-2022, and India will be a key pillar, along with China and South America.
The success Citroen had is because of new positioning, model range, a new approach, unique styling that's different in the market, and the emphasis on comfort. Groupe PSA believes they have the ability to stand out and make an impact very quickly.
Citroen is developing an international program of models that will be available in India and in other regions. It is part of the "core model strategy" which is to make sure, when there are models that cover a minimum of two regions. India will the first market for launches. Citroen wants to make sure there have a suite of models to introduce.
Groupe PSA have two joint ventures with CK Birla Group. One for assembly and distribution, and the other with Avtec for power-trains for localisation of engines and gearboxes. This program will have PSA technology in terms of quality, comfort and design. It will be CO2-friendly that meets Indian rules for emission by 2020.
Indian consumers like value for money. They want lots of things buy don't necessarily want to pay a high price for it. Citroen needs to make sure they are cost efficient and have a high level of integration in India. To achieve this, localisation has to be at 90% of more. Citroen need to be building in India, in their Indian factories, with Indian suppliers.
Jackson also said India could be an export hub, particularly for gearboxes. Although she feels it is early to talk about exports when Citroen still has to build their first car in India.
Thoughts About Citroen Going The Local Way
Well, Citroen might need a Quality Control team at their Indian Factories and at each of their Indian suppliers. Hopefully that will help with the quality products they talk about. Outside of that, it is a fantastic idea to have this much of localisation. It helps with the economy and maybe results in another set of affordable cars.