French car maker Peugeot, will start its second innings in the Indian market in 2012. The company has already started its basic operations in Indian market with a office set-up and have announced its plans to start assembly operations in Gujarat.
The French car made its first appearance in India at the 2012 Auto Expo. Peugeot showcased the French designed RCZ coupe, 508 sedan (the first car which will hit the Indian roads) and the 3008 hybrid MPV which complemented with the theme of the 2012 Auto Expo.
Peugeot announced that the 508 will be their first offering in India as a locally produced car by 2014. Following the suit of the German car maker Volkswagen, the 508 will be offered with only a diesel option. It will have a 2.2-litre HDI common rail diesel engine.
Peugeot will use the top to down strategy for the Indian market which means it will launch cars to first establish the brand and will introduce the mass segment cars later. The RCZ will soon follow the 508 to further strengthen the brand, a favourite of us which looks amazingly fresh and attractive with a completely different design all together.
The French manufacturer will then enter the Indian hatchback segment which is currently the most competitive and growing in terms of numbers and competition. Peugeot have a bouquet of seven cars to choose from which are under four metres in length using which they can avail the duty benefits. The hatchbacks will be available in both petrol and diesel variants. But we will have to wait and watch to see what comes our way.
The initial focus will be on setting up their assembly facility in Sanand, Gujarat. Peugeot will set-up a strong dealer network and they are looking to set up dealerships in around 15 cities initially in the main cities and the second round will have the tier 2 cities once the mass market cars make it into the Indian market by 2014-15.
Peugeot has a rich motorsport heritage considering their association with the WRC, IRC and the legendary Le Mans and they are keenly looking at getting involved with Indian motorsport. The Buddh international circuit will surely see more action in the coming years especially with the new brands using the motorsport as a tool to establish the brands and target the young buyers.
Peugeot at 2012 Auto Expo Image Gallery