Segment Y Automotive Header  
   
PSA again exploring India opportunities
Livemint, 16 February '09
Segment Y in the press
» India's manufacturing sector benefits from China's challenges
» Uber's tricky vision aims to tempt Indians from car ownership
» Mahindra to buy controlling stake in Peugeot scooter unit
» Luxury carmakers hindered by Indian potholes
» Global car groups to rev up India exports
» Nissan considers introduction of electric cars in Thailand
» Japan disaster affects Indian car production
» Indian auto boom gets bubbly
» India doesn't need green cars: Environment minister
» Superbike sales rise as Harley Davidson enters India
» Micra marks Ghosn's bid to make up for lost time
» Foreign luxury cars: Picking up speed in India
» Maruti Suzuki plans to drive into MUV segment
» In India, 'green cars' look like a hard sell
» Ford makes push to boost Asian presence
» Harley-Davidson plots India sales drive
» Harley-Davidson set to finally ride into India
» Superbike sales speed up in slowing economy
» 25 years later, second small car revolution
» India's car makers see glut
» PSA again exploring India opportunities
» Tough Times for the Tata Nano
» Can small really be beautiful?
» India cranks out small cars for export
» Will Tata's great car gamble backfire?
» Can Tata rev up Jaguar?
» Tata unveils world's cheapest car
» Automakers come knocking
» Coming soon, the $5000 car
» India's automotive plastics use to rise
» China readying new taxes on gas guzzlers
» New cars for under $5000
» At the Beijing Auto Show, signs of a behemoth to come
» Chinese automaker plans assembly line in Malaysia
» Chinese firm plans car plant in Malaysia

In another indication of its on-again, off-again approach to the Indian market, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Europe's second largest car maker by sales, continues to test the waters here.

A senior PSA executives Frederic Saint-Geours, board member and adviser to chief executive officer, and Rajesh Nellore, managing director for India operations, met Andhra Pradesh government officials to explore investment opportunities in the state. B. Sam Bob, principal industries secretary of Andhra Pradesh, described the talks as "preliminary". PSA is also exploring investment opportunities in other states, he added.

PSA is no stranger to the Indian car market. Post-liberalization, its Peugeot unit was one of the first entrants in India through a joint venture with Premier Automobiles, to make the Peugeot 309. Labour problems at Premier's Kalyan plant in suburban Mumbai had delayed production.

In 2001, Peugeot pulled out with only a few thousand cars sold. But now, shrinking car markets in the West have prompted car makers such as PSA to look at the developing world with renewed interest. Indian units of Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. have continued to invest in India even as their parents posted losses.

Ford plans to put in $500 million (Rs. 24.35 billion) in capacity expansion and a new plant. General Motors inaugurated its 140,000-unit Talegaon factory on the outskirts of Pune in Maharashtra in September. Nellore, who worked previously at components firm Johnson Controls joined PSA last July to head India operations and opened an India office in October.

The company plans to develop India as a sourcing hub. "We were actively sourcing in India through our partners Magna Steyr but we're looking at taking a more direct approach," said Nellore. He declined to comment further.

In November, PSA held customer clinics in New Delhi and Mumbai to get feedback on its cars. The Peugeot 207, 308 and 408, and Citroen C5 and C6 were on display.

PSA's tried and tested diesel technologies could also give it an edge in the Indian market, said Paul Blokland, director of Segment Y Automotive Intelligence, an automotive intelligence firm. About half the cars sold in Europe run on diesel engines.