With its upcoming hatchback, C3, that goes to market on July 20, the French carmaker Citroen has outlined its network expansion plans for India.
The company aims to grow the number of physical outlets to 20 across 19 cities from the existing 11 in 10 cities. The number of outlets is slated to increase to 30 by the end of the ongoing calendar year.
The new cities will include Chandigarh, Indore, Jaipur, Surat, Nagpur, Lucknow, Vizag, Calicut and Coimbatore. The company has its existing La Maison showrooms in ten prime cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Pune among others.
While the nearest outlet to service the north eastern region is in Kolkata, Citroen is also offering direct-to-home deliveries in 50 pincodes across India, with plans to expand it to 90 pincodes by end-2022.
With limited presence, the company has so far also been relying on doorstep service - Service on Wheels - in 77 cities to cater to the C5 Aircross customers who are located far off from a Citroen dealership. The program caters to the preventive maintenance needs of the vehicle up to its 30,000km maintenance schedule, with a fully-equipped service van reaching customer doorsteps.
However, it would be worth the wait to see how the company manages aftersales with the C3, which is expected to garner much higher volumes than the maiden C5 Aircross that was solely purposed for brand establishment.
The new C3 is developed on the company's compact modular platform (CMP) and has been engineered to target the entry-level hatchback segment in emerging markets such as India and those in the Latin America like Brazil, Mexico, as well as Africa.
The C3 offers unique attributes such as a wide cabin, tall stance with 180mm ground clearance and a segment-best wheelbase of 2,540mm as well. However, Citroen is positioning the car as a hatchback and not calling it a mini SUV.
The styling is quintessentially Citroen with the Chevron logo taking centre stage on the dual-slat front grille. It is flanked by split headlamps on its either side, with LED DRLs and halogen main beams.
There are orange accents around the fog lamps, lending a unique touch while the side profile has large doors with dated flap-type door handles, and 15-inch steel wheels. Though there are flush-sitting roof rails, the tail lamps are halogen units too, and not LEDs. Diamond-cut alloy wheels are only part of optional extras.
Vincent Cobee: 'We will be respectful of Indian customers and create value'
Why Carlos Tavares is betting big on India