French Manufacturer Citroen Jumps Into the Indian Market with Rs. 29.9-lakh C5 Aircross SUV

French cars have long been making news across the globe for their innovation and superiority in design. Another French carmaker, Citroen has decided to amp its manufacturing process by jumping into the vast Indian market with a 29.9 lakh Aircross SUV modeled. The model is valued at 2.9 million Indian Rupees and fits the general space requirements of Indian families. 

We are not running away from brick and mortar dealerships,” said Saurabh Vatsa, senior director (marketing and corporate communications) at Citroën India.

We chose to enter the market with C5—the premium flagship model of Citroën as it’s a new brand for Indian consumers and it’s important that they see the best from the company to establish the credentials of the brand,” he said.

Instead of bringing a low trim, low cost model, Citroën has chosen to bring the top of the line model. The top down strategy bodes for India and will help the company establish the brand,” mentioned an Indian market analyst. A high focus on digital play will facilitate a low cost structure.

The Indian market is ready for growth potential and French car manufacturers can reap rewards by jumping into it. 

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kX5cUBSp-7U

French Car Registrations Rise by Almost 200% after Steep Fall Last Year

New car registrations in France for the month of March 2021 reported an almost 200 percent increase as the figures were hit by the pandemic during the corresponding months last year. 

France’s CCFA association of carmakers released a statement prompting the press that car registrations were marked at 182,775 for the last month. This figure is lower than the average of 210,000 cars usually registered in March, but was many times more than what was seen last year. 

Overall, the French car market saw a 21.1% increase in registrations for this quarter, a massive improvement from the first quarter of 2020. 

Last year in March, French Car Manufacturers PSA reported that their car registrations fell by a massive 73.43%. This is a record fall and is a severe shock to embittered manufacturers. 

PSA is responsible for making cars for the Peugeot and Citroen brands. Additionally, Renault also reported a 71.6 percent drop in their registered vehicles. This total drop will harm the economy as consumers have literally altered their spending patterns. 

Whether the world ever comes out of the COVID-19 pandemic is yet to be seen, but what we do know is that the French Car industry is on its way to revival. 

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUBL2IlORFU

French Car Sales Fall By Over 20 Percent This February

The French car market is still rallying from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic impact that has resulted because of it. The market demand has still not gone to pre-COVID levels as car sales for the month of February in 2021 were still over 20 percent short than what they were during the same period last year. 

With 132,637 registrations, against an average of 160,000 in recent years, the drop in the number of orders is significant.

With 132,637 registrations against an average of 160,000 in recent years, “the drop in orders in the second half of 2020 is being felt as well as the start of the semiconductor shortage for the automotive sector,” indicated the committee of the constructors (CCFA). New car sales in France fell 20.95% year on year in February, the CCFA said in a statement.

«The French keep their savings and postpone their heavy purchases» Explained François Roudier of the CCFA.

As several groups have also announced, “we expect a rather bad first quarter, a not very good first semester, and a re-launch in the second semester”, emphasized François Roudier.

The drop is spectacular for the sale of second hand vehicles with a drop of 42% (31,637 registrations). “This is explained in particular by the current tension that exists in the networks of professionals on recent used vehicles” emphasizes AAA Data.

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRq6IA0Cno8

European Car Markets Report Worst Sale Returns in Years

The top auto markets in Europe posted their biggest annual decline in decades, due to the ongoing restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus. Car sales have hit rock bottom as economic downturns and social restrictions have taken demand to an all-time low. 

Registrations fell by a whopping 25 percent across the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain during the last year. These are 5 of the largest car-buying countries in Europe, and the steep decline has given marketers quite a lot to think about. 

The resurgence of COVID-19 in Europe through a fresh new wave has meant that countries now have to impose new lockdown measures. These ongoing weaknesses in demand now pose a heavy risk to the manufacturing sector and the demand from masses. 

We are in a deep crisis,” Pierre-Louis Debar, head of statistics for French car-industry group CCFA, said during an interview. “It’s more extensive than anything we have seen in the past.”

The French car market has also gone down with a decrease of almost 30 percent in vehicles registered during 2020. The second half of 2020 did see a recovery though, after the country reported an almost 90 percent drop in vehicles registered during March, after the early onset of the pandemic. 

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRpkswfgPY4

French Police Bust and Charge Group of African Car Smugglers

December of 2020 was a busy month for French Police in Versailles as they started a crackdown against French Car smugglers operating from the city. The smugglers were known to be from an African background and had deep connections in the area around the city. 

The probe surrounding the illegal activities began back in June when police uncovered a shipping container with three stolen cars from a small village located west of the city of Paris. Following the footprints from the probe, the highly organized operation ended up sniffing up the smugglers in their act. 

The smugglers operated mostly at night when they would steal cars and then ship them over to African countries in an undocumented manner. The suspects were all aged between 20 and 35 years. 

First they would break into the car, plug a computer into the on-board diagnostic port and use software to reprogram the vehicle to accept a new key. They would then pay someone 50 Euros ($60) to pick up the car and park it on the street with a new registration plate for days or even weeks. Once the car was no longer deemed “traceable” it would be shipped in a container to Africa,” noted AFP. 

Investigators and police officials have officially linked 30 stolen vehicles, especially SUVs with this gang. 

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4oLbr-DqIM

Thousands Protest and Burn French Cars in Countrywide Protests

Tens of thousands of people in France have taken to the streets and burnt down French cars as a means to demonstrate their anger against a new security law. The security law passed in the European country stopped residents from filming police officers during random observations and checks. 

Protests were largely concentrated in the cities of Paris, Lyon, Marseille and Strasbourg. Local reports suggest that a total of 50,000 people marched in Paris during isolated riots. 

The countrywide figure was marked at 500,000 as half a million people took to the streets. Protestors disturbed barricades, three different objects at police officials on duty and even burnt down French cars. 

Banners and signs were held by some proclaiming defiant messages against police: “Not see, not caught,” “France: Country of Rights of the Police,” “Carrying weapons is out of service,” and “Police everywhere, justice nowhere.”

According to France’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, a total of 37 police officers suffered severe or minor injuries during the protests and the violence that ensued. Police had also arrested 9 people for instigating violence and vandalism. 

Our liberty is in danger; we are really happy to see all of these people here today,” said a student marching in the protests. “It shows that Parisians are a people in pursuit of their liberty.”

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLDkLpxx3VQ

Citroën blocks Polestar 2 in France over ‘too-similar logo’

French car brand Citroen has taken Swedish Company Polestar to court over the alleged use of its trademark logo. Citroen is vying to block the sales of Swedish electric car brand Polestar in France on the grounds that their logo is too similar to the iconic chevron logo that the car manufacturer currently has. 

Polestar has started production on its electric 2 model in China and was expected to launch it in France by the start of 2021. Polestar carries chrome, 3D logo, which Citroen blames is too-similar to their chrome chevron logo. 

The court notice said, “The Polestar Performance company has harmed the reputation of French trademarks 3422762 and 3841054 owned by Automobiles Citroën.”

The French website for Polestar is current displaying this message, “Access to the Polestar site is not accessible to the French public due to territorial restrictions on the use of French trademarks n°016898173 and n°01689532.

The website then goes on to offer an international number that leads to a voicemail asking you to leave your contact details to be contacted later. Polestar’s reputation, which was already reeling from electric glitches in two of their previous vehicles, has further been damaged by this scandal. 

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IifJLUdK2Ag

French Politician Snubs Local Laws and Blocks Passenger Train With Parked Car

While French politicians aren’t really known for their wise antics, Jean Lassalle, an Independent Member of Parliament made a surprising entry to a rugby match in Bedous by parking his car on a railroad crossing. 

Lassalle was there to see his son play Rugby, and in his haste forgot to park his car right. 

It was later during the match that police approached him and asked him to pay a 135 Euro fine and to also move his car as it had been blocking a passenger train for the last half an hour. 

I saw this magnificent place and I parked there,” he told France Bleu. “The train was indeed at a standstill. I apologized to the passengers. Everyone was very nice. 

I have no excuse: it’s been two years since the line [opened] and I even inaugurated it,” he said. “It’s a big mistake.” 

Lassalle further went on to quip that if he had a driver like many of his peers, the accident wouldn’t have had happened in the first place. 

The visibility on the day was good, which is why the passenger train’s driver could see Mr. Lassalle’s parked car from a distance. With poor visibility, this could have ended badly. 

YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IuV1Rsyhlw

French Car Market Revival on Cards as Car Sales for June Recorded Close to Normal

While the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, France might just have witnessed a return to normalcy as far as the car market is concerned. Car sales in the country plummeted to a new low in April, as the country witnessed an 88 percent drop in demand. 

An automobile study carried out by La Plateforme reveals that sales in the auto industry of France for June are just at par with the sales during June of last year. The monthly figures were published by La Plateforme and its Director General Marc Mortureux during the month of July. 

We remain cautious because the last days of the month are very important, but there are clear signs of a restart,” Mortureux said in an interview. “After catastrophic months of March, April and May, the month of June is shaping up to be near normal at last year’s level, which was in itself relatively high.

While orders are almost near normal, the Director General believes that the current French car industry production levels are still at 60 percent of what they were before the crisis. Still a 50 percent increase from the 40 percent they were at during the last month. 

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRq6IA0Cno8

VolksWagen Pulls Out Racist Social Media Car Advert After Public Outcry

German based Volkswagen, one of the top sellers in the French car market, recently pulled out a social media advertisement after it was heavily criticized for its racist overtones. 

The ten-second ad posted across Instagram, FB and Twitter, showed a massive white hand intrude in and push a black man away from next to a new Volkswagen Golf on the road. The hand then moved on to flick the black man into a French café. 

Commenters on social media were disgusted by the overt racism at display in the advertisement. Volkswagen immediately removed the ad from across all social media. 

Without question: the video is inappropriate and tasteless,” Volkswagen wrote. “We will clarify how something like this could happen, and there will be consequences.”

Many initiatives in the company and in our global workforce promote diversity, integration and unprejudiced cooperation,” Volkswagen said. “That makes it all the more annoying that we made this mistake.”

Finding its roots in Nazi Germany to produce the people’s car, Volkswagen realizes the precarious situation it is in considering its history and the way people look at the brand. They vow to position themselves against all forms of xenophobia, racism and discrimination. 

YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBTs67Oh1MI