French carmaker Citroen has officially begun its trial production in India. The first car to come out from the assembly line is the C5 Aircross, which will become the first car from the manufacturer in the Indian market.
Citroen and CK Birla have joined hands in India to launch new cars. The production facility is located in Thiruvallar, which is approximately 54 km from Chennai. The new units which were produced in the facility will be tested all through India to check their durability in the Indian condition. It should be noted that these are Completely Knocked Down (CKD) units of the SUV that will join the other test mules that have already been spotted on the roads. Citroen had bought multiple CBUs of the Aircross C5 to India to test them.
The French manufacturer was expected to launch its first product by the end of this year. However, the restrictions and lockdowns related to COVID-19 pandemic have delayed the launched by a few months. Now the car can be expected to be launched by the first quarter of 2021. Since it will be CKD units, the price of the C5 Aircross will be higher than the competition. Citroen will initially launch only a single variant that will carry a price tag of around Rs 30 lakhs.
The single fully-loaded version of the SUV will come with features like split headlamps, all-LED lamps, massive panoramic sunroof, electrically powered driver seat, electronic parking brake, dual-zone climate control system, hands-free powered tailgate, multiple airbags, and a massive 12.3-inch driving instrument cluster and an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
Citroen will offer only a diesel engine with the car at the time of the launch. It will get a 2.0-litre diesel engine that will churn out a maximum power of 180 PS. It gets an 8-speed torque-convertor automatic gearbox and there will not be any manual transmission available.
The first model C5 Aircross will be a halo product for the brand. It will be launched to establish the brand and make way for future models. Since the price of the C5 will be out of reach of most Indian car buyers, Citroen will launch the high-volume product at a later time. Citroen plans to launch a compact SUV with a starting price of Rs 7 lakhs. However, it will take a few years before these products are launched. Since the first product will not attract the masses, the brand will operate only 10-15 showrooms at the starting and will be later increased as per need and demand.