Since the start of 2019, French carmaker Citroen has been making headlines in India. It all began with the first sighting of the C5 Aircross on Indian soil, and in February, Groupe PSA confirmed it had chosen Citroen as the brand that would lead its India re-entry. Today, at its first-ever press conference in the country, Citroen has confirmed that its first launch in India will be that of the C5 Aircross, which will go on sale by September 2020. Present at the press conference for the announcement were Carlos Tavares, chairman, Groupe PSA, Linda Jackson, CEO, Citroen Brand, and Emmanuel Delay, executive VP and head of India-Pacific, Groupe PSA.
Explaining Citroen's decision to bring the C5 Aircross to India, Jackson said, "We were keen to bring our latest model when we entered India. Hence, we chose the C5, which was launched recently in Europe."
While Citroen's India entry has taken time, it says it is better prepared for the challenges our market poses. At the event, Emmanuel Delay, Sr VP, Groupe PSA, said, "There's an advantage to coming late. We were able to study our competitors and why they failed, which was mostly due to huge investments and unrealistic volumes".
The C5 Aircross made its debut in April 2017 in Shanghai, and is based on Groupe PSA’s EMP2 platform. To give you an idea of its size, the Citroen C5 Aircross measures 4,500mm in length, 1,840mm in width, 1,670mm in height and 2,730mm in wheelbase length, which makes it 25mm longer and 10mm taller than Hyundai Tucson, and gives it a wheelbase that's 60mm longer. It sits rather high up too, with a ground clearance of 230mm.
For India, the Citroen C5 Aircross will only be offered with a single engine option - a 130hp, 1.5-litre turbo-diesel, paired to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. Being Citroen's flagship SUV, the C5 Aircross will act as a brand-builder, but with a high level of imported content, it will be one pricey SUV. Expect the Citroen C5 Aircross' price in India to be close to the Rs 30 lakh mark, which will see it rival the Volkswagen Tiguan.
For Citroen, the C5 Aircross will be a low-volume product, one that will introduce the qualities Citroen represents - style and comfort - to the Indian audience. The C5 will set the tone for the brand's India journey, with India-specific products set to follow from 2021 onwards.
All Groupe PSA models – including the Citroen C5 Aircross – will be manufactured at CK Birla’s facility in Tiruvallur, Tamil Nadu, which also produces SUVs for Mitsubishi in India. The group already has a plant in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, which manufactures and supplies engines and transmissions for its global and domestic businesses.
Linda Jackson, CEO, Citroen interview at Geneva motor show 2019 video
Carlos Tavares, Chairman, Groupe PSA interview at Geneva motor show 2019 video
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Citroen C5 Aircross image gallery