French carmaker Citroen on Wednesday made its debut in India with its maiden mid-size SUV C5 Aircross at a starting price of Rs 30-32 lakh. The company has entered the market in collaboration with CK Birla Group with its cars including C5 Aircross being manufactured at the latter's production facilities in Tamil Nadu. Citroen, which is now part of Stellantis, a global alliance that has parent firm Groupe PSA and Fiat Chrysler as equal partners, will be launching at least three more products in the market by 2023.
"The India launch of the new Citroen C5 Aircross SUV is a very proud moment for all of us at Citroen. The Citroen C5 Aircross SUV definitely goes beyond market expectations, addressing all the needs in terms of design, comfort, roominess, equipment and powertrain," said Vincent Cobee, Chief Executive Officer, Citroen. "Its international success and modern technology will certainly satisfy Indian customers, who deserve nothing less than a world-class product. The Citroen C5 Aircross SUV will establish our brand in India and showcase what Citroen is capable of. With this launch, Citroen starts a new chapter in India and you can expect a lot of action in the next coming months, with the reveal of the first vehicle from our new family of B-segment cars."
The car is offered only with a 2-litre diesel engine that has a peak output of 177 bhp and torque of 400 NM of torque. The powertrain is mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox and has a fuel economy of 18.6 kilometres per litre. The company is banking on the product's comfortable ride and handling characteristics as its USP. The C5 Aircross gets the company's progressive hydraulic cushion equipped suspension system. It also gets a whole range of features like auto wipers and headlamps, 18-inch alloys, 12.3-inch digital dials, 8.0-inch touchscreen, powered driver seat, dual-zone climate control, hands-free parking, 6 airbags, ESC and traction control. The top of the line variant also gets LED headlamps, a panoramic sunroof and a hands-free tailgate.
"We are excited to launch the new C5 Aircross that embodies all the elements of the Citroen Advanced Comfort program. This ties up very well with our brand ethos of Citroen 360 degree comfort to enhance the overall customer experience," said Roland Bouchara, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Citroen India. "We are focused on improving the well-being of people by the seamless customer experience, human-centricity and how well we are integrated digitally through our La Maison Citroen phygital network. Through our disruptive products and services, we are challenging the status quo and reinventing the car buying and distribution model in India. With over 1,000 pre-bookings till date, the C5 Aircross is clearly one of the most anticipated SUVs in India and we are looking forward to our journey in India with this launch."
To begin with, the company has set up dealerships in 10 major cities in the country but given the pandemic situation, its focus is more on online sales. It is setting up full digital ecosystem that links seamlessly the digital experience of customers with 3D configurator that offers real-time 3D visualisation that renders visuals in an extremely realistic way. It has also launched 100% direct online buying for the C5 Aircross SUV which covers customers in over 50 Indian cities outside the dealer network. A dedicated e-commerce-enabled website with a seamless journey for selection of finance, insurance, annual maintenance packages, extended warranty as well as trade-in of the existing car is also available. Customers will be supported by a dedicated test drive fleet, E-sales advisor, virtual product demo and a doorstep delivery facility.
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