PSA Group-owned Peugeot will start its innings with a sub-4 metre compact SUV to rival Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Ford EcoSport, Tata Nexon and Honda WR-V.
We are a SUV-loving nation, or let me put it in a better way – we love anything that looks like an SUV. For the same reason, we are seeing SUV design-inspired vehicles in all sizes and price brackets. Seeing this madness for SUVs, most new automobile entrants will kick start their innings in India with such vehicles. And what better segment than the compact SUV that has seen a phenomenal growth here and continues to be one of the fastest growing ones. PSA Group owned Peugeot is also coming back to India and as the title suggests, they too are aiming the compact SUV segment.
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Though there is no clarity yet on the product yet, it’s almost certain that the first product to enter India will be compact SUV. There will also be a premium hatchback with SUV-like design cues to take on the Hyundai Elite i20 and Maruti Baleno, and a mid-size sedan to rival Honda City and Hyundai Verna. If we look at the global lineup of Peugeot, they have a few good options to start their innings here in India. For example the Peugeot 2008 looks like a perfect vehicle for the Indian market, though they will have to highly localize it to achieve aggressive pricing to take on the rivals like Hyundai and Maruti.
The global 2008 is above 4.1 metres, so in case they plan to bring it here they have two options – either keep it in the same size and rival Hyundai Creta or develop an entirely new sub-4 metre vehicle based on the 2008 design and target the Brezza. In case they plan to go with the second option, they will need a platform that can accommodate a sub-4 metre SUV/crossover and they already have one in the form of PSA PF1 on which the company’s 208 hatchback is built. And there is a very high probability that the company will also launch the 208 here, which then makes it easier for the brand to develop a sub-4 metre SUV on the same platform.
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For people not in the know, PSA group has also formed a joint venture with CK Birla Group that owns Hindustan Motor. As per the joint venture, the company will initially invest Rs 700 crore to star its innings here. In fact, the powertrain plant has already been inaugurated. Based in Tamil Nadu’s Hosur, this engine plant is a 50:50 joint venture between PSA Group and CK Birla group-owned AVTEC. As far the launch of Peugeot compact SUV is concerned, it will most likely happen by the end of 2019 or early 2020.
Stay tuned to IndiaCarNews for more details on this.