Groupe PSA has announced that it has postponed the Indian launch of the Citroen C5 Aircross to Q1 2021 (January-March 2021). The company initially planned to release this model by the end of this year.
The Citroen C5 Aircross is a C-SUV like the Jeep Compass and the Hyundai Tucson. The EMP2 platform-based model will reportedly be offered with a 1.5L diesel engine (131 PS/300 Nm) linked to an 8-speed automatic transmission, in front-wheel drive drivetrain layout.
On the outside, the Citroen C5 Aircross features split full LED headlamps, 19-inch alloy wheels, Airbumps door protectors and rear lights with four 3D LED oblong modules. Interior highlights of the funky compact SUV include panoramic sunroof, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, folding and reclining individual rear seats and 8-inch HD touchscreen infotainment system. Except for 19-inch alloy wheels, all these features should be offered in India.
The Citroen C5 Aircross is planned to be the brand’s debut model in India. The outbreak of the COVID-19 is to be blamed behind the postponement of this model’s launch. Groupe PSA makes the Citroen C5 Aircross at its Rennes site in France and plans to import it to India in knocked-down kits. The final assembly will take place locally in Tiruvallur, 54 km north of Chennai.
Groupe PSA is leveraging its long term partnership with the CK Birla Group for selling its Citroen models in India. This tie-up includes two JV agreements. The first JV agreement is about the aforementioned vehicle assembly plant and the distribution of vehicles in the country, under which it will have a majority stake. The second JV agreement is with Avtec Limited, a company owned by CK Birla Group, to manufacture and supply powertrains. Under this JV agreement, it will have a 50% stake.
The initial plan was to get the Citroen brand well-recognized and pitched as a premium brand with the launch of the C5 Aircross this year and then to release locally manufactured, cheaper models one by one every year between 2021 and 2023. Now, two models will be launched in 2021, the first being the C5 Aircross and the second being a yet-to-be-announced locally manufactured model.