The Indian car market is set to become the third largest car market in the world, and all the global auto majors are eyeing to spread its wings in this country. Quite a few global auto majors such as Hyundai, Honda and luxury auto majors like Mercedes-Benz have totally won over the Indian car market. Japanese automaker Suzuki along with its Indian subsidiary Maruti is still ruling the roost with its monopoly over a major chunk of the Indian automotive industry. On the other hand, quite a few other global automakers could not sustain in the Indian auto market, because of some mistake or the other to successfully deal with the highly competitive space. One such carmaker is the French automaker Peugeot.
Peugeot used to do business in India back in the 90s. The Peugeot 309 sedan was even one of the most favoured among the sedan buyers of the country. However, the French company had to bow out of the domestic Indian market as it could not have sustainable sales figures in the market. However, Peugeot had kept its eyes on the growing and flourishing Indian auto market and kept on planning its re-entry in the country. The company finally tied up with the Indian industrial group CK Birla and announced that it is preparing to start its second innings in India a few years ago. Peugeot had announced that the company will begin its Indian operations for the second time in 2020. However, reportedly this timeline has got delayed to 2021.
Peugeot has a two-pronged strategy for its Indian operations. Firstly, the French automaker is planning to build cars in collaboration with its Indian partner, which will be meant for sale in the domestic Indian car market. Secondly, the company is looking to export the India made engines and transmission gearboxes to the international markets.
As per the latest reports, Peugeot India’s export plans are supposed to be running on track and is likely to commence in 2020, as was originally planned. However, the French company’s second innings in India as an auto brand is supposed to have been postponed.
Peugeot is also working with TCS in order to create a local subsidiary base in the cost sensitive market of the country. It is said that when the localized products for the Indian car market are ready, the French auto maker might be also focusing on the premium Citroen SUV models in order to build its image as a premium automaker. Thus, Peugeot wants to play really safe this time around and doesn’t want to take a wrong step by rushing into the highly competitive Indian market. It wishes to have both affordable and premium models in hand to please the Indian car buyers and appeal to a larger customer base.
Although there have been many speculations regarding Peugeot’s Indian initial model lineup, no detail is concrete still now and we are clueless about Peugeot’s actual plans for its Indian portfolio. Nevertheless, it is believed there would be some premium India-specific models apart from the car maker’s hits from the global lineup.