Citroen plans to start making a new crossover model in China in a first attempt by parent Stellantis NV to make inroads into the world’s biggest auto market.
Citroen will produce the flagship C5 X -- billed as a mix between a sedan, station wagon and SUV -- at a factory in Chengdu and sell it in Europe and locally starting in the second half of the year. The brand hasn’t taken off in Asia and relies heavily on the European market, where its sales fell 28 percent last year due to the pandemic.
The carmaker is following a “rational and balanced approach” when deciding where to build its cars, Vincent Cobee, head of Citroen, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “Manufacturing quality in China is one of best in world.”
Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares has vowed to “fix” the automaker’s poor showing in the nation, where none of the company’s 14 brands have a notable foothold.