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Changes for Citroën in India?

portrait of Saurabh Vatsa, former boss of Citroën in India

A few days before the launch of the new Citroën C3 Aircross, Citroën is facing changes within its organisation in India, according to recent information that has neither been confirmed nor denied by the brand.

The most important change would be the resignation of Saurabh Vatsa, Director of the brand in India, who unexpectedly left his post a few days ago. Citroën has not confirmed this information, so we must remain cautious, but several sites claim the resignation of Saurabh Vatsa, who was in charge of the brand since 2021 and was therefore responsible for the launch of the first Citroën models on the Indian market.

Saurabh Vatsa joined Citroën in January 2018, when its return to India was announced, and was in charge of Citroën's communications and marketing in India before taking over two years ago at the birth of Stellantis, which appointed Roland Bouchara, former head of Citroën India, to head Stellantis India. Saurabh Vatsa was therefore in charge of the launch of the C3 and its electric version ëC3, then the C3 Aircross, which he carried out in the last few weeks before, presumably, submitting his resignation and leaving Citroën as well as the Stellantis group. The reasons for this resignation or his dismissal have not been communicated, but the brand's rather mediocre results in India could explain it, as well as the products whose equipment does not correspond to market expectations and penalises them.

However, these are not the only changes for Stellantis in India, as there are also rumours that Roland Bouchara is about to be transferred to the group outside of India and replaced by Aditya Jairaj, currently director of strategy and transformation of electric vehicles for Nissan in the United States as part of the Japanese brand's Ambition 2030 plan.

Stellantis would therefore be poaching someone from Nissan to look after its Indian division, but this recruitment can show the group's ambition for electric vehicles, to which it is fully committed and with which it intends to take market share in such a competitive market as India.

2023 is therefore the year of changes in the Stellantis organisation chart, as the group has made numerous changes since the beginning of the year, particularly in Europe. These departures, if they are indeed confirmed, show that the group is also paying attention to the situation in India, which does not seem to correspond to the group's ambitions, even if the latest press statements indicate that production, particularly of the C3 electric, is at maximum available capacity. It remains to be seen whether the group will confirm these changes and whether they will have an impact on the group's strategy for the Indian market, which is crucial for its development and growth.

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