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  • Writer's pictureGaurav Chakraborty

Citroen India to bring in EV's by 2022 and flexi-fuel cars by 2021

The French automaker PSA group has plans to focus on cleaner fuel solutions which include electric powertrain. When Citroen launches its SUV in the industry it will have to fight for its place in the already competitive market. However, if done right Citroen can make its impression in the country.

PSA is working on a mass-market small electric SUV codenamed eCC21, which is likely to be priced around Rs 8 lakh and hit the Indian shores by 2022, probably before Hyundai brings the first car under the Korean company’s Smart EV project.

The vehicle will be produced out of the Thiruvallur facility in Tamil Nadu that Groupe PSA had acquired from CK Birla Group. When launched in the Indian market it will compete against products from a well-settled market. It may rival the upcoming Kwid EV, Mahindra eKUV-100, Tata Hornbill (HBX), Maruti Suzuki e-WagonR.

At this point, everyone knows that French automaker Citroen is bracing to launch its first car in India which is also said to be the flagship product from the French company, Citroen C5 Aircross SUV, next year. Now, as the company braces for its entry in the Indian automotive market, there have been several discussions about how it intends to approach this market, especially considering its generally challenging nature.

The launch of C5 Aircross will be followed by a Flexi-fuel small SUV that is compatible to run on a 1.2-liter petrol engine with ethanol blends starting from 27% to entirely on the biofuel, in the second half of 2021. This small SUV may give the company a first-mover advantage in the Flexi-fuel space in India.

The CC21 small SUV project is part of a smart car platform, internally called the C-Cube, which is being developed specifically for emerging markets. India is expected to be a key export hub for such vehicles for the French carmaker. The CC21 SUV will be followed by a compact SUV, CC24, to challenge the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and the Hyundai Venue, in 2022 and a compact sedan the following year.

Image source: Rushlane

The company had earlier planned to make India the export hub for the SUV EV but then decided to move the manufacturing base to Europe with key parts being sourced from India. It is developing a Flexi-fuel car for India even as the government is pushing the industry to move towards biofuels as the country tries to reduce its fuel import bill.

Ethanol-blended petrol usually fares better in terms of CO2 emissions and also enhances the octane number of the fuel, hence gives higher performance. At present, most of India’s oil marketing companies have attained about 5-7% ethanol blend. For blends with ethanol content up to about 10%, no modifications are required in the existing internal combustion engines. But for blends with higher ethanol content, the engine has to be mapped or tuned accordingly.

On the prospects of the Indian market post-pandemic, PSA spokesperson said the company along with its dealers, agencies, and vendors understands the challenges to business this pandemic poses, as the global business isolation impacts all multinational projects. The group, however, remains committed to India and is working closely with all stakeholders, ensuring business continuity and implementation of our India plans.

Groupe PSA, also launched the Eurorepar range of multi-brand, high-quality aftermarket products, in India. PCA India, the local entity of Groupe PSA, signed a sales and distribution agreement with GoMechanic. Meaning GoMechanic will support the sales of Eurorepar spare parts, facilitating a strong market entry point in India.

Initially, Eurorepar will be introducing products like high-quality brake pads and the range will expand progressively to include multiple product lines like wiper blades, filters (air, oil and fuel), brake discs, coolant, grease & lubricants, thus building a strong product portfolio of service and repair parts. A pretty good way to gain the public trust on service of future PSA products.

Now, a little bit of an update about the Citroen C5 Aircross - the company has already started the upcoming flagship SUV's assembly in India, which is expected to become available between January 2021 to March 2021.

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