The French brand is not quite famous in India, but there’s a customer base of old Citroen models here which the brand wants to tap on for a successful Indian foray. Saurabh Vatsa, Senior Director, Citroen India speaks about the opportunities ahead.
In terms of making the Citroen brand more familiar than it is now, what steps would you take?
We clearly have that challenge with us. We have to be very clear how we get to the consumer and make sure that what the brand stands for is truly delivered in the consumer journey and the products. That’s extremely important because beyond that then the consumer also starts recognising that this company is true, it’s trustworthy, what it says it delivers.
Number two, the entire dealership network that we are setting up should be able to deliver that promise of comfort and service quality at every touchpoint consistently throughout the country. We are quite confident that with our systems and processes we’ll be able to do that. So, it’s a matter of time. I cannot say that in one month everybody in the country will know that. But at the same time, we want the consumers to actually accept what we are saying, and truly accept that. And that will be the biggest proof.
The C5 Aircross will be available only in diesel. So, the strategy is to have diesel in the larger vehicles, and petrol in the smaller ones?
I think the platforms are capable. The same vehicles in Europe go with petrol and diesel. And same for the C-Cube programme. The platform is capable, and as we see the requirement, we will be able to get it (diesel).
Will the C-Cube programme be designed for electrification too?
Yes, the platform is capable. We as a company, and a brand, are ready. And as we start establishing the Citroen brand — the C5, the C-Cube vehicles, as soon as we see there’s a need, and the market is ready for it, we have the options.
And now more so, with the formation of the Stellantis Group?
Absolutely. I think with the formation of Stellantis, the synergies once defined, clearly are humungous, and the opportunities are limitless. So, very confident with that.
This interview was first published in Autocar Professional's April 1 issue.