The Indian car market is the most challenging and difficult market in the world, but the key to cracking the Indian market is consistency, and to continue improving and refreshing products, according to Thierry Koskas, Brand Chief Executive Officer, Citroën, and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Stellantis. "The key to staying in India is to have a strong product plan, to make it evolve all the time—improving and refreshing the products—and have a long-term strategy. We will stay in India, and there will be a mix of good and not-so-good moments, but we will stay. That is very important. The key is consistency, and to never give up, to always propose new, fresh products," tells Koskas in an interview with Fortune India.

Koskas, who has previously worked with Renault in various capacities, says he is not a stranger to the Indian market. "I have known India for many years. My first visit to India was 15 years ago, and I saw the Indian market changing, and I saw how difficult the Indian market is. It is probably the most difficult market in the world, because the cost is very competitive, selling prices are challenging, and also because Indian customers know the product so well, and are very demanding," he explains. He also says that the Citroën brand has taken the market as a challenge, and is not going to give up on India. "If we can succeed in India, we can succeed anywhere in the world, because the market is so competitive," he adds.

He also says that India has the potential of becoming a consumer and a strong manufacturing base for exports. "India is probably both, but primarily Citroën in India is for the Indian market, because it is such a great market to be in. It is already one of the biggest markets in the world, and has the potential to become the biggest car market in the world. We think we have the perfect vehicles for India. The first objective is to be in India for the Indian market. Then, after that, export is an opportunity, and we would like to grab any opportunities for export, but our first interest is to serve the Indian customers, and to serve the Indian market," he says.

Citroën, which belongs to the Stellantis group, currently has 30 dealerships in India, but Koskas says that there is a significant ramp-up happening behind the scenes. "With the second car arriving, we would be doubling the number of touchpoints soon, and that would help a lot in covering the territory,” he says. According to him, if the Citroën brand wants a significant presence in India, having more and more touchpoints is critical. “We have 30 of them today. If you compare it with our competitors, it is not a lot, so that’s why we are progressing on that front. In our launch of the second car, we will be receiving some potential dealers. We already have a few people who are interested in becoming Citroen dealers, and we will soon grow twofold. It’s coming progressively; we don’t want to go too fast," he adds.

Although Jeep, another marquee brand of Stellantis, is present in India, Koskas says that Citroën is the main brand of Stellantis for local manufacturing. "I am very happy and proud that the Citroën brand was chosen to lead the offensive for Stellantis in India," he says. However, Citroën benefits from the synergies of Stellantis. "Citroën benefits from all the knowledge of the Stellantis Group," he adds.

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