2023 was an eventful year for Citroën in India, with the launch of the 100% electric version of the C3 in February, followed a few months later by the launch of the C3 Aircross, on which the brand is relying heavily for its development. However, the brand does not intend to stop there and 2024 should be a year full of new products that will allow it to fill gaps.
A more complete range...
Citroën has always stated that it intends to proceed cautiously and slowly in India in order to reconcile growth and profitability. The brand is therefore gradually building up its network in this large country, which is allowing it to gain visibility and thus enter the list of consumers, even if the results in terms of sales are still weak, especially because the range has some shortcomings, particularly in terms of gearboxes. Surprisingly, Citroën does not offer automatic transmissions on the Indian market, despite their popularity with consumers and the fact that the brand offers such versions in Indonesia, a country where Citroën also intends to develop, albeit on a much smaller scale than in India. Citroën should fill this gap in 2024, although there is nothing official at the moment, but an automatic version of the C3 and C3 Aircross should indeed be marketed in India, which would make it possible to fill the considerable gaps in the Indian range. These versions should be linked to the 110 bhp 1.2 Puretech engine.
...and more and more electric
Citroën is aware that entering a market as competitive and huge as India is not an easy task, which is why the brand decided to offer an electric version of the C3 very quickly in order to be present in a less competitive market. This choice has paid off, even if the C3 has not achieved a stellar score, but it has allowed the brand to do quite well in this market segment, which I will come back to in a few days.
Of course, Citroën does not intend to stop there and it is a safe bet that a 100% electric version of the new C3 Aircross will also see the light of day. However, the latter should not use the C3's motor and battery unit, which is far too small, and should opt for a more efficient motor and a larger battery capable of giving the C3 Aircross a decent autonomy. The 100% electric version will, of course, be offered in the same configurations as the thermal versions and will be able to carry 5 or 7 passengers, which will require more power and a larger battery.
Finally, Citroën also intends to develop its range of vehicles with the presentation and marketing of the new coupé version of the new C3 Aircross, the third model in the C-Cubed programme known under the codename CC22. The latter is intended to offer a more dynamic version of the C3 Aircross by sharing the entire front block and clearly distinguishing itself from the rear doors. This new C3 Aircross coupé should also have a new stylistic language in line with what the brand offers in Europe and, as such, the rear of the C3 Aircross coupé could be quite surprising, playing the audacity card as Citroën knows how to do. In any case, this new C3 Aircross coupé could also mean a change of direction for the brand in India, focusing more on boldness and style, as it has already been able to do with the new C3 Aircross, which is considerably more worked and maintained than the C3.
Citroën is here to stay in India and intends to do so modestly by making regular progress, knowing how difficult this market is. 2023 was a year of consolidation and development, and 2024 will be more of the same, although with all these new products, the brand should be able to fill the gaps in its range that have prevented it from reaching the maximum number of consumers, which should have an impact on its sales, especially as the network continues to grow and should reach 100 dealerships with the launch of the C3 Aircross coupé. This will still not be enough to cover the vast territory of India, but it should increase the brand's visibility.