A low cost C3 to launch Citroën in India

Citroën did not use unbridled creativity to find a name for its future key vehicle intended for emerging markets. It will be the C3, the worldwide name of its mid-size sedan known as “the B segment”. Vincent Cobée, CEO of the chevron brand, revealed the “New C3” on Thursday September 16 – tall and compact silhouette, sober interior -, marking an important step in the development strategy of the Stellantis group label.

“Citroën sells 1 million vehicles worldwide, 85% of which are in Europe, explains Mr. Cobée. Our goal is to continue to grow in Europe, while achieving 30% of our sales elsewhere. “ The C3 is one of the tools to achieve this expansion. The vehicle will be marketed in the first half of 2022 in Latin America, in order to consolidate the brand’s presence there and, above all, in India, a new land of conquest for rafters.

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Funny place for the Indian car market. 3.4 million cars were sold there in 2020, barely more than in Germany, for a population more than fifteen times larger. The market is dominated by the Indo-Japanese joint venture Maruti Suzuki (50% of sales) and then by Hyundai-Kia (21%). Behind it is more complicated. Alongside the Indian brands Tata and Mahindra, only the manufacturers Toyota, Honda and Renault manage to claim just over 3% of sales. And it is not easy to make money there. General Motors threw in the towel a few years ago. Ford has just announced the end of its industrial establishments.

The potential is there

Yet the potential is there. “India has everything it takes to become the world’s third largest automobile market, after China and the United States. We believe that it can reach 4 million cars sold in 2025 ”, says Cobee. The latest figures are also rather encouraging: + 7.6% in August, compared to the same period last year. And segment B, which constitutes 23% of new car purchases, is the right niche to settle.

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Citroën, which has just marketed its C5 Aircross SUV, in a confidential manner for the moment, intends to give itself all the means to successfully launch the C3 in India. It starts with an industrial establishment in the country and a supply of parts as local as possible (over 90%).

C3 will be produced in Chennai (South East), within the framework of several joint ventures associating Stellantis and the Indian industrial group CK Birla. This allows Citroën to position the price of the vehicle (which has not been precisely disclosed) around 8,000 to 10,000 euros. For Latin America, the new C3 will be manufactured in Brazil (plant in Porto Real, in the state of Rio de Janeiro) and marketed in a slightly higher price range.

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