After Fiat and Renault, another French car manufacturer Peugeot is turning its focus towards the growing Indian automobile market. PSA Peugeot is not a new player in the Indian auto sector. Earlier, the French giant was present in India with a partnership with Premier Automobiles which was terminated in 2001 and Peugeot pulled off its operations from the country altogether. Back in 2011, PSA Peugeot had shown a strong inclination to come to India, so much so that the company had already drawn out its manufacturing establishment plans in India with the government officials. However, facing some financial troubles in its home turf, Peugeot had to pull back from its plans in India. Now with its condition being stable, the company has again set its eyes on the Indian auto market chunk.
Although it is continuing talks with many Indian OEMs which include Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra & Mahindra and Hind Motors, if media reports are to be believed it is rumoured that Tata Motors might emerge to be final contender. Talks of the merger deal started during the Frankfurt Motor Show this year after which a high level delegation headed by Emmanuel Delay, head of India Pacific Operation at the PSA Group recently visiting Bombay House, the Tata headquarters in Mumbai, to discuss the contours of a deal. Currently, Tata Motors has a huge manufacturing capacity lying unutilized at its Sanand Plant in Gujarat which it had built to cater to the expected high volume for its small car Nano. However, with volumes of Nano not as per expectations, the Peugeot deal can help Tata make use of its Sanand facility for manufacturing and assembly of Peugeot branded cars.
For starters, Peugeot is expected to start production of its 208 Hatchback, 308 sedan and the 2008 crossover models. Talks are also on about sharing technology between the two auto OEMs. Peugeot might be sharing its DW10 2 litre diesel engine with the British brand Jaguar Land Rover, which is owned by Tata Motors. The finalization of the deal is likely to happen by the end of 2015.