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Citroën aims for 200 dealerships in India: on the road to expansion

The Citroën C3 sold in India in a white and orange color

2024 is undoubtedly the year of renewal for Citroën in India, aware of the bad start the brand got due to poorly adapted products and a strategy that relied heavily on the Internet to fill a small network of dealerships. Citroën is therefore changing course and intends to quadruple the number of dealerships by the end of 2024, with the aim of doubling sales compared to 2023.

A few months after taking up his post, Aditya Jairaj, the new General Manager of Stellantis in India, decided to make major changes at Citroën in order to relaunch the brand's sales in the huge Indian market. In the coming months, the brand has announced the automatic gearbox for the C3 Aircross and the upgrading of safety equipment across its range to make its products more competitive in their segment and to increase sales growth. .

But Aditya Jairaj does not intend to stop there, and took advantage of a meeting with Indian journalists to announce a new round of changes aimed at giving Citroën a second chance on the Indian market and stimulating sales. To achieve this, the brand is relying on the development of its dealer network, which is still too small with only 58 sites, which limits its visibility to customers. To remedy this, Aditya Jairaj aims to significantly increase the brand's network to 200 units by the end of the year, because for him, "customers need to see us. They need to see more points of contact, if I may say so, rather than points of sale. They need to see more points of contact with Citroën. That is why we have set ourselves a very ambitious target: to reach 200 touch points in the next 12 months. We will have different formats for the touch points. Not only will they build customer trust, but they will also give us more opportunities to interact with them and help us to further establish ourselves".

But in order to have a larger network that attracts investors, they need to make money and therefore sales volumes need to be substantial. It is a virtuous circle that needs to be created, but it is also a huge headache because it is necessary to attract private investors who will not make money immediately due to low sales volumes. This is why the brand is going to develop its products considerably by improving their basic equipment and equipping them with an automatic gearbox that will meet the needs of customers and allow Citroëns to be more competitive in their segment. . To this end, Aditya Jairaj states that "by the end of the year, our ambition is to ensure that we have a rate of at least 2,000 to 2,500 units per month. At that level, there will be a certain level of financial independence for all stakeholders. So we have that trajectory in mind. Steps are being taken to ensure that we reach that level of volume, because volume is the most important factor in solving these problems. In the meantime, we have to look at what the costs are, what the profitability is and how we can make adjustments.

Citroën will also be able to count on the imminent arrival of its first SUV coupe, the Basalt, a vision of which will be announced on 27 March 2024 and which, beyond a fourth car in its range, should provide a clearer vision of what Citroën wants to become in India and what level it wants to reach in terms of value for money, the brand could move away from its low-cost strategy and refocus on being a generalist core market brand as in Europe.

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