New Delhi: European auto major Groupe PSA on Tuesday said it has decided to postpone the launch of its first model in India to first quarter of next year due to the challenging business environment right now owing to coronavirus pandemic.
The company, which was all set to introduce C5 Aircross later this year, now plans to launch the SUV in the first quarter of next year.
Groupe PSA in India along with its dealers, agencies and vendors understands the challenges to business this pandemic poses, as the global business isolation impacts all multinational projects, it said in a statement.
"While reiterating its commitment to India, given the current scenario where people at large are concerned about their personal well-being and health and automotive purchase is not a priority, Groupe PSA in India in close co-ordination with its new dealer partners has decided to re-time the launch of its debut vehicle Citroen C5 Aircross SUV to Q1 2021, while ensuring industrial readiness," it added.
The re-timing is aimed to move the commercial launch to a potentially more positive economic activity period where consumer sentiments are upbeat, Groupe PSA said.
"At the same time, Groupe PSA has decided to maintain the project timeline and investment for the C-Cubed program, under which the first vehicle designed, developed and made in India would be launched in 2021 as announced in 2019 by Carlos Tavares, chairman of the managing board, Groupe PSA," it added.
The automaker had formally announced in early 2019 its plan to enter the Indian market with Citroen brand.
The brand has already stated to roll out five models in India. It has already established leasing and finance arms in the country to make the C5 Aircross SUV and other upcoming models accessible for the consumer financially.
The automaker said in order to tackle and contain the spread of the COVID-19, all its offices and plants across the country are closed until further notice and in line with government's lockdown directive.
Groupe PSA is Europe's second-largest carmaker after Volkswagen. It sells three brands — Peugeot, Citroen and DS.
The company is no stranger to India, having entered into a partnership with the erstwhile Premier family resulting in JV Peugeot PAL India. However, it pulled out from the JV in 2001.
In 2017, PSA Groupe announced a partnership with CK Birla Group to re-enter the Indian market.
Updated Date: Apr 07, 2020 19:12:55 IST