During a press conference, which took place today in Chennai (southern India), Linda Jackson, Citroen’s CEO, confirmed the brand’s planned arrival in India and said a range of new models will be added to the market. The first of these models will be launched by the end of 2021. In addition, the brand will launch New C5 Aircross SUV in India from 2020.
Citroen is planning to roll out models at the rate of one launch per year.
Called ‘C Cubed’, the rollout programme was described as ‘in line with Citroen’s positioning’, with three Cs for: Cool, Comfort and Clever.
Citroen said that after India, other areas of the world will benefit from these new ‘international models’. Before their launch, the brand will begin its offensive in India from 2020, by introducing its flagship New C5 Aircross SUV.
With 1.3 billion inhabitants, India is the second most populated country in the world and will soon take the top spot from China. By 2050, the country should total more inhabitants than China and the United States combined. It is also the youngest country in the world, with a median age of 25 years old. By way of an example, the number of Indian children under four years of age amounts to double the entire French population. By 2025, 55% of the country’s population will be of working age, which equates to 25% of the active global population. With levels of growth among the strongest at present, India ‘may well become the leading global economy within a few years (it was 5th in 2018)’.
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In terms of the automobile industry, India represents excellent potential. With a current ownership rate of only 40 cars per 1,000 inhabitants and a middle class that should grow by 75% by 2025 (going from 63 to 110 million), the average growth of the passenger vehicle market in the years to come is estimated at 8% per year (going from 3.3 million units in 2018 to over 6 million by 2025). Therefore, from 2020, India should be the third largest global automobile market behind China and the United States.
Linda Jackson said: “Launching a brand in a large market such as India is a unique and enthralling experience. With its boldness and its capacity to be inspired by the ways of its customers, I am convinced that Citroen has all of the assets to attract the Indian customer base. We are giving ourselves the tools to do so, with the ambition of being ‘Indian in India’, on both the industrial front with the two local joint ventures, and with the new product offering, which we are introducing in the country, building on the formulas that have brought us success in Europe.”