Renault sees India as its 11th largest market in 2013

Murali Gopalan Mumbai | Updated on February 14, 2011




Fluence sedan and Koleos SUV to hit Indian roads soon

Renault has targeted India to be its 11th largest market by 2013, by which time it hopes to have six locally-manufactured vehicles out on the roads.

At present, India does not even feature in the French auto-maker's top 15 markets and the 11th slot set for 2013 is now occupied by Argentina. By that time, Brazil will have climbed a notch higher to the second spot (with France on top) and pushed Germany to the third. Russia, likewise, would have jumped five places to the fourth position.

These rankings were part of a recent presentation made by Mr Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, focusing on a mid-term strategic plan where it was conveyed, in no uncertain terms, that India, along with Brazil and Russia, would be Renault's key growth drivers for the future. China, incidentally, is not on the company's priority list though its ally, Nissan, already has a manufacturing base in the country.

One of the offerings for India is a sports-utility vehicle, tipped to be the Dacia Duster. It is tipped to debut in 2012, at a price tag of under Rs 10 lakh. The other products in the Renault kitty for India will include the Fluence sedan and Koleos SUV, which will hit the roads in the coming months, and two compact cars over the next three years.

The Dacia Duster will also be part of the product line-up planned for Brazil and Russia over the next three years.

The compact car range for India will be produced on the Nissan ‘V' platform in the Chennai plant. The Japanese partner's numbers will also play a big role in catapulting the country to the 11th position in the Renault roadmap for 2013.

Mr Ghosn has constantly been bullish on India despite the poor showing of its Logan sedan in the erstwhile joint venture with Mahindra & Mahindra.

The company believes that the Logan experience was actually a valuable lesson for its future range of products which will be competitively priced. A lot of hard work has gone into setting up a strong local base in key areas such as design and engineering.

Affordable car

Post-2013, Renault will work on another affordable car that will be positioned under Rs 3 lakh, a segment where the Maruti Alto reigns supreme, with monthly sales of over 20,000 units. Incidentally, Hyundai is also planning to launch its next small car in this product category towards the end of this calendar.

Renault has also made public its intent to work jointly with Bajaj Auto on an ultra-low cost car, which would be priced upwards of Rs 1.5 lakh.

It has been touted as the challenger to the Tata Nano which promised plenty as the affordable people's car but has not exactly set the sales chart afire. Mr Ghosn has, however, been bullish on the Nano which spawned the famous ‘frugal engineering' term.

Published on February 14, 2011

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