BH CORRESPONDENT, Kolkata: As the Indian automotive industry braces business slowdown and a mandatory technical transition from BSIV to BSVI at s time when there’s a lockdown due to coronavirus and certain uncertainties associated with it, the timing for a new brand to launch its products isn’t exactly that attractive for an aspirant brand like Citroen.
European auto major Groupe PSA had a grand plan to introduce the brand for India but has decided against it as of now.
On Tuesday,the carmaker announced that has decided to defer the launch of its first model in India to first quarter of next year due to the challenging business environment. The C5 Aircross SUV was to be the French brand’s entry ticket.
“While reiterating its commitment to India, given the current scenario where people at large are concerned about their personal well-being and health and automotive purchase is not a priority, Groupe PSA in India in close co-ordination with its new dealer partners has decided to re-time the launch of its debut vehicle Citroen C5 Aircross SUV to Q1 2021, while ensuring industrial readiness,” the company release said.
“At the same time, Groupe PSA has decided to maintain the project timeline and investment for the C-Cubed program, under which the first vehicle designed, developed and made in India would be launched in 2021 as announced in 2019 by Carlos Tavares, chairman of the managing board, Groupe PSA,” it added.
The France-based automaker had formally announced in early 2019 its plan to enter the Indian market with Citroen brand and a line-up of 5 models.
Groupe PSA is Europe’s second-largest carmaker after Volkswagen. It sells three brands – Peugeot, Citroen and DS.
The C5 Aircross when launched will be offered with both petrol and diesel powertrains. The petrol variants will get a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol unit that makes 180PS/250Nm. The 2.0-litre diesel engine will offer 176PS/400Nm. Manual and 8-speed automatic transmission option will be offered. The India-spec SUV will be brought in as CBUs and will come with premium features like panoramic sunroof, dual-zone climate control, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 8-in touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Active and passive safety features will be top notch and include multiple airbags, ESP, and electronic traction control.