It is official that Peugeot is now entering the Indian market and has signed a JV with the CK Birla group to start local operations by 2020. When the group left India close to twenty years, the car market was a very different place and now at the time of their return the Indian car industry is poised to become one of the largest within the next 3-4 years. This change in setting will change the way the group approaches the market this time around.
We believe that they will approach the Indian market with three models in their lineup targeting popular sections of the market. These are expected to be B+segment hatchback, C-segment sedan and SUV where they will have representation with the 208 hatchback, 308 sedan and 2008 SUV.
This is a segment dominated by the likes of Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Honda Jazz and Hyundai Elite i20. Peugeot’s entry into this part of the market will be the 208 hatchback. We will get this in the five door variants with both petrol and diesel engine options as well as manual and AT setups. The car will be localised to suit Indian tastes but will have segment standard features like climate control, touchscreen infotainment system and pseudo leather upholstery. The current 208s design is funky, sporty and will help the 208 stand out in the crowd of other plus size hatchbacks.
The French alliance’s competitor in this part of the market will be the 308 sedan. It is 4.2-metres long and has all segment standard features required to take on the vehicles in this segment. We believe that they will offer this car with both petrol and diesel engines as well both AT and MT options. It will rival the likes of the Honda City, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Renault Scala, Hyundai Verna and the Nissan Sunny.
With a growing demand for the crossover/compact SUV body style both in India and abroad it only makes sense that Peugeot introduce the 2008 crossover. It will rival the Hyundai Creta, Nissan Terrano and the Renault Duster and be offered with both petrol and diesel engine options though only with FWD as is the norm in the segment right now. The compact SUVs low-slung looks and contemporary design should help it gain numbers.
In the info that PSA has issued officially, it has said that it will setup a plant outside Chennai. Basically this the HMFCL (Hindustan Motors Finance Corporation) plant that was used by Mitsubishi and then partly leased out to Isuzu till last year. The French automaker alliance will invest Rs 700 crore and develop a manufacturing capacity of 100,000 units a year indicating that it wants sell mass market. This is an indication of volumes game with an increase based on demand and success.