It is already known that French car manufacturer Peugeot has been bracing up to start its operations in India. Peugeot’s parent company - PSA Group has partnered with the Indian industrial group, CK Birla to operate in India through a new joint venture.
Peugeot has been studying the Indian car market to figure out which products will work best for the company’s success to begin with, in this country. The global SUV rage is a well known fact, and India is no exception to this trend. Thus, Peugeot has wisely decided to start its Indian operation with an SUV model. PSA Group and its Indian partner CK Birla Group have decided to go with the flow when it comes to the Indian car market. As per the latest reports, the French car manufacturer will be first launching a premium SUV model in India, which will be pitched against the likes of the Jeep Compass and the Hyundai Tucson. This new SUV model will be launched from the Citroen lineup.
Peugeot is planning to launch its first SUV model under the Citroen brand when it starts its Indian operation in 2019. PSA Group is yet to finalize its plans, but the company is expected to launch either a Citroen C84 concept SUV or Citroen C5-Aircross as the first product in the car market of India. This highly competitive upper-SUV segment of India is dominated by the Mahindra XUV 500 seven-seater SUV. The Jeep Compass had outshone the XUV 500 after its initial launch, but the good old Mahindra XUV 500 regained its top position after its updated model launched in India.
It will be interesting to see how the planned Citroen SUV tries to make an impression on the Indian SUV market. Jeep being a highly revered brand could not beat the homegrown Mahindra XUV 500. So, it is certainly not going to be easy for an unheard of brand name, like Citroen to impress the Indian car buyers. However, if PSA can offer a good package in the Citroen SUV along with competitive pricing, it can draw good attention. Moreover, this particular SUV segment is getting tougher over time in terms of competition. Not only it has big brands like Jeep, Mahindra and Hyundai, but Skoda, which is also respectable as a premium brand in India, is also planning to launch its new Karoq SUV.
The PSA Group is expected to assemble its vehicles at the Chennai manufacturing facility of CK Birla, which also owns Hindustan Motors in India. PSA has also bought the legendary “Ambassador” brand name from CK Birla.
Meanwhile PSA is also preparing its India-centric Smart Cars project. The French auto manufacturer has plans to launch two new cars in India initially. While one of these will be a SUV, the other will be a sedan model. India is currently the fourth largest car market, and is predicted to become the third largest in few years. Thus, the international car makers are all more than eager to enter the lucrative Indian market.