Citroen C3 price, eC3 price, Jeep Compass price, Stellantis EV

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The company is already profitable in India thanks to a significant export base, says Aditya Jairaj, deputy MD, Stellantis.

Stellantis is Europe’s second biggest automaker and has leveraged India as a key export hub for internal combustion engine parts. The brand sees the base playing a critical role for exports of EVs. Speaking at our sister publication Autocar Professional’s India EV Conclave in Chennai in partnership with the Tamil Nadu government, Aditya Jairaj, deputy MD of Stellantis India said, “Export is going to be a very significant strategy when looking at building volumes,” and added that deep localisation will help power this plan.

  1. India is already a key export hub for Stellantis
  2. STLA M platform to underpin future Jeep and Citroen models in India
  3. Sharing of parts and exports will help build economies of scale  

Despite a modest market share in India with its Jeep and Citroen brands, Stellantis is already profitable in the country thanks to a few hundred-thousand-unit exports of engines and gearboxes. To be sure, in an earlier interaction with our sister publication Autocar Professional, Stellantis’ global CEO Carlos Tavares had said that India already was a critical base for exports of engineering R&D, engines and gearboxes. He said the company has a sharp focus on localisation and it will look at localising battery cells and parts even in India, and may use it for exports as well. Tavares said that the company makes its own motors, battery packs, software, and ACC cells, so it has a deep integration when it comes to EVs globally and that is something that they can attempt even in India, to ensure the right cost and affordability for electric vehicles.

Currently, Stellantis’ brands in India operate completely on their own, with manufacturing operations in two different locations. The Compass as well as the Meridian are based on the FCA Small Wide platform and are manufactured in Ranjangaon, while the Citroen C3, eC3 and the C3 Aircross are all based on the CMP architecture and are made in Thiruvallur.

It also has another plant in Hosur that exclusively manufactures powertrains for domestic as well as export purposes. However, the current Compass range as well as Citroen’s C-Cubed models will be the last ones to be based on their respective FCA and PSA architectures. Moving on, all models from both brands will be based on the common STLA M platform for greater synergies, not only globally, but in India as well.

Unveiled earlier last month, Stellantis’ STLA M platform is understood to be making its way to India with the next-gen Jeep Compass in 2026, along with Citroen’s next-generation models that will also use the same platform, and EVs are a key part of that platform strategy.

Alluding to the South-East Asian market, he said that it was a big market for them and the company is positioning India as an export hub for the region. Beyond that, Jairaj added, “We also are looking at Africa and the Middle-East, but exports are going to be a very significant strategy when we look at volumes, and vertical integration is again going to become significantly important when we look at keeping our cost structures very competitive,” he added. 

He also said that with Citroen, the company’s localisation levels were over 90 percent. Despite being one of the last brands to arrive in the Indian market, Citroen has been quick to get into the EV segment. Speaking on the company’s offerings, Jairaj said, “We launched the eC3, within six months of the ICE launch, that’s our commitment. When we launch an ICE vehicle, we are very quick to market when it comes to an EV. The reason for that is customer interest and demand, and so that we can take it to the next level,” he added while remaining cognisant of the fact that the company has low volumes at the moment, even as it looks to make exports an important part of its business strategy. 

Talking about the issues specifically concerning electric vehicles, he said that there were some ‘limitations’ the industry is facing at the moment in terms of battery, battery pack and cell localisation, so that is something that is being worked on along with charging infrastructure.

He called for a common interface where consumers can look at all charging options and look at which chargers are available and working, which mode of payment can be initiated. “We have to be patient and focus on all the enablers in order to reach mass market adoption. So as an estimate, in 2030, 20-25 percent EV penetration, I would call good success,” he added.

Also see:

Stellantis could bring back Fiat brand to India

Citroen C3X to bring back notchback body style for the masses

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