NEW C3: “TAILOR-MADE” FOR STRATEGIC REGIONS
To meet market demand in India and South America, Citroën has chosen to adapt its usual design and production process by entrusting part of the style and development convergence phase to the teams in each region, in order to create a unique and bespoke vehicle.
Incorporating knowledge of the two regions’ society, culture and needs makes New C3 a model designed, developed and produced by and for India and South America.
“Ensuring Citroën’s future requires a greater international presence, by becoming stronger in all the markets in which we operate, including South America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and China, and by opening up to others, including India, which will soon become the third-largest market in the world. We are rolling out an ambitious product plan in order to achieve this, which will see the launch of three internationally-oriented models in three years.
Models designed, developed and produced in strategic regions and which will fully represent Citroën’s identity in terms of style and on-board peace of mind. New C3 is a vital part of this international ramp-up and the first stage of the growth strategy. This hatchback, less than 4m long, is aimed at a major segment in India and South America. Modern, connected and tailored to local uses, it is perfectly placed to support Citroën’s growth.” – Vincent Cobée – Citroën CEO
A PROGRAMME TO FULLY RESPOND TO EACH MARKET’S EXPECTATIONS
New C3 marks the start of a new chapter for Citroën, with the creation of models that are both faithful to the spirit of the brand as well as carefully researched and developed with local teams in order to provide a practical response to specific market needs in India and Latin America.
New C3 is the first model from the “C Cubed” programme launched in 2019 – a family that plans to launch three vehicles with an international focus by 2024, based on three key criteria: the creation of a competitive, market-leading offering, with a strong style, a Citroën experience designed for on-board comfort, and benefiting from a design tailored to the specific needs of its intended countries.
These future Citroëns will be produced in the relevant regions with a very high level of local integration, reflecting our commitment in these countries and a strategy aimed at controlling costs in order to offer models faithful to the mainstream positioning of the brand: modern, high-quality vehicles with attractive styling and prestigious equipment, as well as a carefully researched overall purchase and running cost.
“C3 is our trade name for all of our B-segment hatchbacks around the world, which doesn’t mean it’s the same model everywhere. This New C3 differs from the European version as its design has been inspired by and for the countries in question, in order to offer a unique solution that fully conveys the Citroën identity. Purchasing a car is a major investment for customers and our ambition as a mainstream brand is to offer a modern, prestigious model offering a high level specification for the price, at the forefront of the market.
In general terms, the challenge we set ourselves was to strike a balance to provide everything that customers need, while keeping the price range competitive. To achieve this, the local teams were fully involved in the definition, development and production of the model.” – Vincent Cobée – Citroën CEO
DEVELOPING IN A NEW MARKET: INDIA
India is a new market for Citroën and one with significant potential that will soon be the third largest in the world. The brand announced its arrival in 2019 and launched its first import model at the start of 2021: C5 Aircross. As a new market player, Citroën is initially focusing on large metropolitan areas by offering a customer experience unprecedented in the automotive sector – network, sales website and innovative services – and highly digital.
Citroën products are positioned at the forefront of the Indian market, thanks to a strategy of high-level local integration (more than 90%) based on the two joint venture agreements between the Stellantis Group and the companies in the CK Birla Group (car assembly and distribution and power-train manufacturing).
The automotive market in India is growing rapidly and is expected to reach over four million cars sold annually by 2025. B-segment hatchbacks represent nearly 23% of this market. Buying a car is the second most important purchase after a house. It symbolises social success and a strong aspiration towards greater independence and mobility.
With its assertive design, New C3 will appeal to customers for whom their car is a reflection of their personality. A car that they can customise however they wish, which is a strong expectation on the Indian market. In addition, the compactness (less than 4m to fall into a lower tax band), agility, versatility, on-board space, comfort and connectivity will improve the experience of traffic conditions which can sometimes be difficult, while adapting to each individual’s lifestyle.
New C3, which will be produced in Chennai, will be aimed at new married consumers in their thirties, from the emerging middle class, with a comfortable income, who will be attentive to the value offered by a product that represents a significant outgoing and which needs to be robust and practical to maintain. It must be attractive, modern with innovative options for connecting to the family’s smartphones, while reflecting their tastes and their personality.
STRENGTHENING CITROËN’S POSITION IN SOUTH AMERICA
Citroën’s presence in South America is much older, dating back to the 1960s. Citroën’s objective today is to gain a firmer foothold in this market with modern products, in step with customer aspirations. C4 Cactus is produced in the Porto Real plant and embodies Citroën’s positioning in Argentina and Brazil with its daring style and unrivalled comfort.
Produced in Porto Real in Brazil, New C3 symbolises a real renewal in the region, with its modern styling, its connectivity and the experience of its on-board comfort. The B-Hatch segment accounts for almost 30% of the total market in Brazil and almost 26% in Argentina (data FY 2020). The versatility and positioning of New C3 will ensure greater coverage of the segment (in Brazil, New C3 will cover 90% of the segment’s needs, compared with 40% for the former model, while that coverage rate in Argentina is set to increase from 50% to 75%).
It will be aimed at active couples in their forties, married and with two children, looking for a prestigious, versatile and spacious car for their short everyday journeys and also weekend getaways. It will also appeal to independent and active single people in their thirties, living in cities and with a slightly higher-than-average monthly income, looking for a vehicle that is elegant (for modernity and status), robust and safe.
NEW C3: A TYPICAL CITROËN IDENTITY AND EXPERIENCE
A HATCHBACK WITH A MODERN AND ROBUST STYLE
In terms of design, the brief called for an architecture taking into account specific local needs, including robustness, along with modern, prestigious lines, bursting with vitality.
Compact, at less than 4m long, New C3’s unique style is immediately apparent from its distinctive shape, characterised by the high position of the bonnet and a front end structured to reinforce the impression of width. It is also faithful to Citroën’ signature shape, familiar from its full and generous models, set off by their various sculpted surfaces. Other Citroën markers are evident on New C3, including the styling of the typically Citroën bonnet and the design of the front grille.
In a touch characteristic of the brand, it presents the face of Citroen with the signature front end now present on C4 and C5 X in the current range. It features a dual-stage light signature, with the double chevrons that become chrome bars and continue across the width of the vehicle to the headlights and then separate to form a Y at the ends.
The headlights are made up of two separate elements with the position lights, indicators and daytime running lights on the upper level and, on the lower level, the low beam and high beam, with a light guide at the top and another at the bottom. The rear light signature is also fairly prominent and echoes the two horizontal lines visible on the front end which form a triangle.
NEW C3 IS INSPIRED BY SUVs TO MEET THE NEEDS OF ALL ROAD CONDITIONS
At first glance, New C3 stands out for its specific SUV attributes, including a high driver position, which is in fact one of the highest in the segment.
Its front end combines strength and protection, featuring a high bonnet that is robust without being aggressive. Depending on the region, the protective and adventurous aspect is reinforced by a fairing – also found at the rear – and protective plates front and rear.
The side view is also inspired by SUVs and promotes New C3 by giving it a modern personality. The sides of the vehicle are muscular, set off by protective bubble panels sculpted into the bodywork, combined with fender flares which create divisions through an interplay of light and shadow, producing the effect of larger fenders to give the vehicle a more imposing presence.
The large wheels (635mm), high ground clearance (180mm) and short overhangs to cope with angles in the road surface and avoid damaging the front bumper, black wheel arches and bars roofs that increase the height of the vehicle, are all elements inspired by SUVs. New C3 is an invitation to get behind the wheel of a prestigious vehicle that is much more than a traditional hatchback.
The sculpted surfaces of the rear end, continuing on from the lights, visually expand the silhouette and each end of the rear lights, are attractive details echoing C3 Aircross.
AN ARCHITECTURE DESIGNED AND ADAPTED FOR THE REGIONS
The higher ground clearance than on a traditional hatchback (extra 110mm) was designed to avoid scraping the underbody, which could cause damage on rough roads. It is also among the leaders in the segment at 180mm.
The approach angle (at the front) and departure angle (at the rear), between the ground and the vehicle overhangs, have been meticulously studied and the bodywork adjusted to prevent it touching the ground in the event of a steep slope, rough surface or obstacle in the road. India, for example, has 5.5 million kilometres of road network, the second largest in the world. However, 40% of roads are unsurfaced.
Citroën has obviously taken this factor, reported by local teams, into account when designing New C3, by working on ground clearance and approach angles and incorporating features to protect the bodywork. In South America, the fact that pavements are particularly high influenced bumper design.
The New C3 bonnet deliberately has a steeply raked bonnet to ensure very good visibility, which is useful when dealing with heavy traffic in large Indian or South American cities. The high position of the driver’s seat is another feature further enhancing external visibility.
Citroën has ensured that New C3 is at the forefront of its segment in terms of value for money. This is why every last square-centimetre has been optimised to include as many functions as possible when machining of the parts, while minimising the vehicle’s price. This sturdy and reliable B car is also economical to drive – an important consideration in these markets.
NEW C3 EMPHASISES CUSTOMISATION
New C3 offers a varied and refreshing range of colours, as well as a catalogue of accessories designed for each country, allowing the vehicle to be enhanced and customised. The choice of colours and materials and their durability, as well as the various finishes, were selected by local teams in order to closely match customer preferences in each market.
New C3 has opted for two-tone bodywork, with a clear border between the body and the roof, in order to offer customers a wider range of combinations. Eleven customisation variants are therefore available in India, including single-tone and two-tone (body in one colour and roof in another colour), and 13 in South America.
Four body colours are available in India (Ice White, Platinium Grey, Artense Grey and Zesty Orange) and 5 in South America (Ice White, Perla Nera Black, Grafito Grey, Artense Grey and Spring Blue), as healthy as two roof colours in India (Artense Grey or Zesty Orange) and two in Latin America (White or Black).
New C3 is a “chameleon”, offering a wide range of accessories designed for each country, to ensure that everyone personalise it by adding their own touch. Customers have the choice to decorate their vehicle as they see fit, with parts that can be added or removed. A more or less extensive catalogue of accessories will be available depending on market sensitivity. This could include: chrome parts for a chic dimension, decorative elements to add individual character to the vehicle, a choice of up to eight seat covers, functional equipment for the passenger compartment sound system and connection of a smartphone, as well as protective features.
A DESIGN PROMOTING SPACIOUSNESS AND ON-BOARD COMFORT
New C3 has been designed to offer an easy and pleasant experience. Occupants must be comfortable, have room for their personal belongings and remain connected while listening to their favourite music, using their smartphone as they would in their living room to avoid interrupting their social life.
On entering the New C3, the horizontal dashboard instantly gives an impression of space. This sense of well-being is reinforced by the accommodating seats, the numerous storage compartments and the driving pleasure, for a most pleasant and relaxing on-board experience.
New C3 is 3.98m long – very important in India, where high taxes are payable depending on vehicle length – while remaining extraordinarily spacious.
Space on board New C3 has been designed to be generous, comfortably accommodating five people, an essential point for customers in this segment. In terms of its architecture, the long wheelbase of 2.54m indicates the impressive interior space. It offers passengers in the second row seats among the largest leg room in the segment (653mm). The front seats give occupants the best elbow room (1,418mm) and market-leading headroom (991mm). The rear seats offer the highest level of spaciousness to transport passengers in the greatest comfort.
Citroën comfort is also evident in the choice of the shape, width, thickness and foam of the seats, which contribute to occupants’ on-board comfort.
New C3 has practical storage compartments, including a 315-litre boot, among the most generous in the segment, a 1-litre glove box, two 2-litre door pockets at the front that can accommodate a 1-litre bottle along with other objects, two 1-litre door pockets at the rear, two cup holders and a storage compartment in the central console, as well as two cup holders in the rear which can become smartphone holders.
Particularly clever storage has been incorporated into the design, including the pen tray for storing small objects. Placed beneath the dashboard, this useful feature also echoes the colour of the decor (orange in India and blue in Latin America).
A CAR CONNECTED TO ITS TIME AND DESIGNED FOR SMARTPHONE USERS
The 10” (26cm) capacitive touchscreen, the largest in the segment, stands out from the dashboard to make it more visible and easier to use. It offers the Mirror Screen function, in order to reproduce the display of the driver’s smartphone apps. This allows them to view their usual connected tools even when they are in the car. Compatible with Apple CarPlayTM and Android Auto, apps and multimedia content can be easily navigated either by pressing the touchscreen directly or via voice commands. Finally, the steering wheel controls are designed to be extremely comfortable in terms of ergonomics and safety.
By studying the behaviour of Indian and South American customers when using new technologies, Citroën has taken integration of mobile phones with New C3 to a new level by creating brand-new dedicated equipment to make life easier for these users: the specific position for the driver to place their mobile phone in the central console, the three special locations (two near the vents at each end of the dashboard and another near the central vents) for attaching clamps to hold a smartphone, the quick-charge USB sockets (one at the front and two at the rear), the 12V socket and the storage cavity between the first row seats accessible to rear passengers and created specifically to avoid damaging the mobile phone cable.
Everything has been thought out, right down to the channel to conceal the cable at the bottom of the pen tray. Two clips have been incorporated on either side of the heating controls to guide the cables of two smartphones (the driver’s and the passenger’s) to the USB and 12V sockets. There are also two attachments inside the glove compartment to hold rolled up cables.
A CAR TAILORED TO ALL TYPES OF ROAD
The high driving position and steeply raked bonnet ensure enhanced visibility. The length of the wheelbase, meanwhile, ensures a high level of stability and on-board space.
With strong performance on the road, New C3 specifically adapts to any short or long journey, to transport the family on a daily basis, whether ferrying the children to school or commuting to work. The suspension has been adapted to the driving conditions of each market.
Particularly agile thanks to its 10m turning circle, New Citroën C3 is 3.98m long and offers optimal compactness in urban areas while being practical for manoeuvring and parking. Handling is a key advantage when making U-turns on roads in India.
With modern and efficient engines, adapted to specific needs in each region, New C3 will meet all drivers’ mobility needs. Engine details for each region will be communicated at a later date.
Citroën is increasingly expanding its international presence, including the design of models specifically developed for high-growth markets. New C3 is the best example, designed in collaboration with India and Latin America and produced and distributed locally.
New C3 will be launched in the first half of 2022 to expand the Citroën range in India and strengthen its position in South America, specifically in Brazil and in Argentina – two markets which each have their own specific characteristics and customer expectations, to which we have provided bespoke responses. India recently opened the ultra-modern Chennai plant, eventually set to boast an annual production capacity of 100,000 vehicles. Latin American countries will also welcome New C3, including Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, Peru and Ecuador.
In order to offer a relaxing and modern customer experience, each region will develop its own specific range of solutions in terms of online sales, customization, connected services and after-sales. Details of these services will be provided in the near future.
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