STELLANTIS WANTS TO REDUCE ITS DEPENDENCE ON EUROPE THROUGH CITROËN IN INDIA
by Gilles Guillaume
PARIS (Reuters) – In the second half of 2022, Stellantis will launch a new Citroën C3 intended for India and Latin America, the first step in an offensive aimed at strengthening the brand’s presence at the rafters in emerging countries and reducing its dependence on the European market.
This new versatile sedan of less than four meters, which sports the same name and the same dapper look as the European city car but varies a lot in its design, marks the true return of Citroën in a promising Indian market but where foreign manufacturers regularly break. the teeth.
Ford was the latest to throw in the towel last week for failing to find a place in a country ultra-dominated by India’s Maruti Suzuki and Korea’s Hyundai.
“The new C3 is the first model in a family of three internationally oriented vehicles, developed and produced in India and South America, which will be marketed in these two regions over the next three years,” Vincent Cobée explained Thursday. , general manager of the second historic brand of the former PSA, during a press conference.
Citroën had not returned to India since the 1930s after its brilliant coup with the “Yellow Cruise”. It is counting on this market, which is set to become the third largest in the world by 2030 after China and the United States, to achieve its objective of 30% of sales outside Europe by the middle of the decade, against 15%. only currently.
India, Latin America, but also the export to Africa and Southeast Asia from these “two base camps” should help the internationalization of the brand, with or without China where Stellantis has still not finalized its strategy to turn around sluggish sales.
Recognizing that the Indian market remains delicate, Stellantis has chosen a cautious approach. It does not launch alone but through joint ventures with the Indian group CK Birla and with an already existing vehicle assembly plant.
It also plans to sell vehicles online from the start and only develop its physical distribution network as it goes, using the synergies offered by the merger with FCA.
“We are in discussions with Jeep, which is already present in India with a network, to see to what extent we can do all this in an agreement which will make the two networks more efficient,” added Vincent Cobée.
(Report Gilles Guillaume, edited by Jean-Stéphane Brosse)