Citroen will introduce its first made-in-India product, the C3, sometime mid-July this year, dealer sources have confirmed. Additionally, dealer-level bookings for a token amount of Rs 21,000 are also being accepted.
Citroen made its foray into the Indian market with the flagship C5 Aircross at the niche end. With the C3, the French brand is now looking at hitting the core of the market.
- Citroen C3 to be petrol-only
- Is expected to offer high level customisation
- Will rival the likes of Tata Punch, Maruti Suzuki Ignis, among others
Citroen C3: up for a challenging start
Contrary to the trend and what has been a proven formula for new carmakers to find success in India, Citroen’s first mass-market product is not an SUV. Although it is a fairly high-riding model, Citroen refuses to call it an SUV, instead referring to it as a “hatchback with a twist”. The company chose to target the budget hatchback segment with a cost-effective platform and high levels of localisation.
Of late, though, hatchback sales have been on a decline, thanks to SUVs practically eating into every car segment. For Citroen, this is further compounded by the fact that its network in India is currently quite sparse, which means reaching out to the masses will be all the more challenging.
Citroen, however, is quite optimistic, as Vincent Cobee, CEO, Citroen, in an interview with Autocar India said, “We hope to grow as we go.” The company is banking on its localisation efforts (more than 90 percent) and also doing things the “Indian way”. Uniquely, with the C3, Citroen is expected to offer never-before-seen levels of customisation at the budget end of the market and is also actively working to increase its dealer and service touchpoints ahead of the C3’s launch.
Citroen C3: what do we know so far?
As for the C3 itself, in typical Citroen fashion, it boasts of a quirky design, contrasting trim elements and a very French flair. It was globally unveiled in September last year, however, the India-spec model is yet to be revealed. On the inside, the C3 will come equipped with a large central touchscreen, digital instrument cluster, funky trim inserts, but skips certain essentials like automatic climate control and rear power windows in the name of cost saving. For more details on C3’s interior and exterior, refer to our story here.
Citroen has yet to reveal the C3’s powertrain details, but sources tell us that the hatchback is expected to be powered by a turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol engine. It will be paired either to a 5-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. There will be no diesel engine on offer.
As far as pricing goes, we expect Citroen to price the C3 close to the Maruti Ignis and the Tata Punch. The model will also see competition at the lower end of the compact SUV segment that includes entry variants of the Nexon and the Brezza as well as the Magnite and the Kiger.
Do you think the Citroen C3 will be able to disrupt the segment with its unique and distinctive appeal? Let us know in the comments below.