In the earlier days of the Indian automotive industry, it had been the trend that, if any international manufacturer wanted to enter the Indian market, they did so by tying up with an Indian manufacturer. Tying up with a local manufacturer brought them up to speed with the local manufacturing techniques and trends, gave them access to local part manufacturer and suppliers and they also had ready labour at hand. These days, this is not the case, as globalisation has made it easier for manufacturers to set up shop in almost any country they like, and because of this, we can see many international brands manufacturing their cars in India. This technique may hold good for some, but for others, they still feel that older style of tie-ups are safer.
These spy pictures show a Citroen C4 Picasso testing in Chennai. But just this is not the reason for this write-up. The big news is that, the Citroen C4 Picasso was following a Mahindra Quanto. What is the big deal you ask? The Citroen as well as the Mahindra carried temporary/testing MH-15 registration plates, and MH-15 is Nashik, where Mahindra has a manufacturing facility, and all the Mahindra test mules carry MH-15 registration. After going through all these facts, the question that immediately pops into one’s mind is; what is cooking?
Citroen is now a part of PSA Peugeot Citroen, and the surprising fact is that, its partner Peugeot had earlier sold a few cars in India before shutting shop and, again in 2011 made plans to make an official re-entry into the Indian market, but for some reason cancelled all plans. Could it be that, Peugeot cancelled its India plans in order for Citroen to make their debut in India? It is more likely so!
Citroen is a French car manufacturer which is commonly known as a budget brand, and Citroen’s cars might be more budget friendly to Indians than Peugeot’s and maybe the decision was taken on this basis. As of now, we do not know what exactly is happening, but we will eventually know when Mahindra or Citroen will make an official announcement.
The car which was spotted testing is known as the Citroen C4 Picasso, which is an offering from the French car-maker in the premium MPV segment. Available internationally in both 5 as well as 7-seater variants, the C4 is available with a variety of drive-train options. It is available with four diesel engines – the 90 HDi, eHDi 90, eHDi 115, Blue HDi 150, and two petrol units – the VTi 120 and THP 155. It is also known for its comfortable ride, practicality and efficiency in Europe.
If launched in India, it would definitely be launched in the 7-seter guise with at least 2 diesel engine options, but if Citroen goes in for a full partnership with Mahindra and opts to co-develop the car, it may be offered with the 2.2 liter turbo-diesel taken from the XUV-500 and Scorpio.
We eagerly await more news with regard to this new joint venture.