India’s Citroen represents the cheapest European C3

India’s Citroen represents the cheapest European C3

Delayed because of this tragedy, the new Citroen C3 is finally arriving. But beware: this is not the long-awaited European C3 IV priority! No, it is C3 set aside for emerging countries (C-Cubed project). Citroën strongly insists on this. It was supposed to be submitted last May, but finally this Thursday. This car, which is only 3.98 meters high (over 4 meters, tolls are the highest in India), but high on foot facing rough roads, looks like a real Citroën with its circular shapes showing great similarities to C3 III and C3 Current Aircross. in Europe. One thing for an interior that is very colorful. A large hardware catalog is also provided to personalize the model. A relatively long wheel (distance between front and rear axles) of 2.54 meters indicates in any case the ideal position to sit on the board by category. In short, in appearance, this C3 will not be damaged on the Old Continent.

Arriving in the first half of 2022

Sold in the first half of 2022, this new C3 is based on the new CMP platform Peugeot 208 and 2008 but also the Citroën C4, in a simplified version. It is therefore more sophisticated than the old 1st C3 platform of the current European. If the car comes in a five-door sedan system, “two more bodies are planned, between 4 and 4.40 meters in height”, assures Vincent Cobée, director of Citroën. An extended version with four doors and an SUV will probably be launched later, with a new one every year. The vehicles will feature three 1.3 Pure Tech cylinders popularly known as PSA. “Electronic version scheduled”.

The entire “C-Cubed” program should “produce several hundred thousand units sold annually”, insists the leader. It will be a “strong hand of our expansion outside Europe”. The chevron company, which sells one million cars a year on average, delivers 85% of its cars in Europe today. The goal is to reduce this very dependent dependence on the Old Continent to “70%”.

Indo-Brazil car

Designed in India – except for the platform and technology studied in France -, C3 for emerging countries will grow industrialized in Chennai in India, south of the country where Nissan and Renault have been established, thanks to two joint ventures and CK Birla. The first, owned and owned by the former PSA (Stellantis), is formed by HMFCL, a subsidiary of the CK Birla group, and will oversee the collection (with the supply of vehicles and about fifty dealers at the time of the launch). The second company, along with another CK Birla company, will manufacture the engines. The investment announced when the contracts were signed in 2017 was originally 100 million euros, with a capacity of 100,000 cars annually at the beginning.

PSA had made its first attempt in India in the 1990s to produce the Peugeot 309 with the local manufacturer manufacturer Premier in Kalian, 50 kilometers from Bombay. The experiment was completed in 1997, because the car was very expensive and the two partners did not understand each other. Another experiment was considered in 2011 in Gujarat province, with an investment of 650 million euros, but the project was suspended due to PSA financial problems.

C3 will not just be Indian. It will also be released at Porto Real, in the Brazilian state of Rio. This old PSA website, which celebrates its 20th anniversary, has already collected more than 1.5 million cars, since the first small Xsara Picasso car. It now runs the Peugeot 208, 2008 and older C3, C3 Aircross, C4 Cactus. But the Peugeot 208 like the old Citroen C3 offered at the entry level of South America today is very expensive in production for the needs of these markets. The new C3 will be better adapted to the competition.

Targeted markets in Southeast Asia, North Africa, etc.

The car will be launched at a price of “8-10,000 euros”, which is the highest price in India, where the average market is around 5-6,000 euros. On the other hand, it is close to the average price of small cars in Brazil. In Latin America, selling prices are high due to high production costs and strict standards. While India and Latin America are key markets, Citroën “also targets large parts of Africa and the Middle East, but also markets in Southeast Asia such as Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and finally Burma”, assures Vincent Cobée. The vehicles will be shipped from India and also from Brazil – but this is even more difficult due to the lack of competition for the Brazilian industry as a whole. Industrial development is also being studied in the Maghreb for the domestic market.

With this initiative, the former PSA finally has the tools to conquer emerging markets. This new C3 will actually replace the old one C Elysee from 2012 (sister of Peugeot 301), unattractive, very expensive and almost unprofitable with its manufacture in Vigo in Spain (as well as in China). Section B (small) Sedans weigh 23% of the Indian market, 30% of the Brazilian market and 26% in Argentina. That is to say ability.

The platform will be used in Europe

“We can use the platform in Europe, take the lessons we learned from the best developments in India, and the different vehicles that are visible,” says Vincent Cobée. The future replacement of the current European C3 (launched in 2016, from 15,600 euros), should arrive in 2023. For possible production in Slovakia. The idea that we also need a low-cost C3 in Europe is crucial. “What is the answer to the economic crisis associated with Covid,” insists the company’s director. The C3 IV will take a lot of visible and invisible elements of the Indo-Brazilian C3, but it will still be different, ensures an internal source.

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