Exclusive: Citroen India to roll out direct-to-consumer sales model, C5 Aircross launch in April

Amaan Ahmed
·3 min read

After a fairly long wait, Citroen is about to begin its India innings in the coming weeks. Production is underway at its plant in Thiruvallur and most of its 10 'La Maison' dealerships across the country are either already open or about to commence operations. But before it launches its first model for our market, Citroen is about to make another big announcement. Sources have confirmed the brand will also roll out a direct-to-consumer sales model, which will let customers buy the vehicle directly from the brand.

Citroen Direct retail model to be a first for the Indian market

Tesla is famous for taking the direct-to-consumer sales approach in international markets, and Citroen will become the first carmaker in India to employ this model. To be named 'Citroen Direct', this retail model will essentially see potential buyers register themselves on the Citroen India website, place an order for the vehicle and make the payment online. Citroen will assign a dedicated sales representative, who will assist the customer throughout the entire purchase process, and the vehicle will be delivered to the buyer straight from the factory.

Using this approach, customers will be free from having to negotiate with a dealer. Direct-to-consumer sales models are known to create a better buying experience for the customers, and eliminate any potential conflict of interest, which may be present at a traditional franchise dealership.

With this, Citroen India can also potentially reach potential buyers in regions where it doesn't have a dealership at present. In Phase 1, Citroen will only have 'La Maison' showrooms in 10 cities €" Mumbai, Delhi, Kochi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Gurgaon, Pune, Kolkata and Hyderabad. In addition to its dedicated service facilities, Citroen will also offer doorstep servicing via its 'Service on Wheels' programme, as well as pan-India roadside assistance.

More details on Citroen Direct are expected when the company formally announces it in the days to come.

Citroen C5 Aircross India launch in early April

Today, bookings have opened for the Citroen C5 Aircross in India, with the booking amount set at Rs 50,000. The launch of the Citroen C5 Aircross in India is likely to take place on 7 April, 2021, and Citroen India is offering free periodic services (for up to five years or 50,000km, whichever is earlier) to those who pre-book the C5 Aircross till April 6. Deliveries of the C5 Aircross, too, are expected to commence shortly after the launch.

There will be two variants of the C5 Aircross on sale €" Feel and Shine. As the company has previously confirmed, the top-spec Citroen C5 Aircross Shine will pack features such as dual-zone auto climate control, an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a panoramic sunroof, a 12.3-inch digital instruments display, an air purifier, hands-free tail gate operation, connected car tech and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Powering the Citroen C5 Aircross is a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine that makes 177hp and 400Nm of torque. Citroen says the C5 Aircross' ARAI-certified fuel efficiency figure of 18.6kpl is the highest in its segment. Paired with it is an 8-speed torque convertor automatic gearbox with paddle shifters. Also available are drive modes and a Grip Control system, to help the C5 traverse rough terrain.

The Citroen C5 Aircross' price in India is expected to be in the range of Rs 25-30 lakh (ex-showroom).

Also See: Citroen C5 Aircross India review: Almost magic carpet-like, definitely a great drive

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