Re­nault to Take on Maruti, Hyundai with Prod­uct Blitz

The Economic Times - - Companies & Economy -

Ke­tan Thakkar & CR Suku­mar

Mum­bai | Hy­der­abad: En­cour­aged by the suc­cess of the Kwid that gnawed away an 8% mar­ket share in the en­try-level car mar­ket from Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Mo­tor, French auto maker Re­nault is pre­par­ing a prod­uct on­slaught tar­get­ing the lead­ers in key seg­ments.

In the works are plans to launch sev­eral mod­els or vari­ants over the next three years in the un­der .₹ 8 lakh cat­e­gory, which makes up for more than 70% of In­dia’s pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle mar­ket, said five parts ven­dors to Re­nault, all speak­ing on the con­di­tion of anonymity. Maruti and Hyundai Mo­tor In­dia are the top two play­ers in the seg­ment where oth­ers such as Honda, Tata Mo­tors and Ford, too, com­pete.

Re­nault In­dia man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Su­mit Sawh­ney de­clined to speak on spe­cific plans, but said “a lot of ex­cit­ing prod­ucts” were in the pipe­line. “We will be work­ing on seg­ments where we are not present. We will try to bring in a lot of in­no­va­tion in or­der to make them the game-changer in the seg­ment and re­de­fine the seg­ment or cre­ate a sub-seg- ment out of it.” Kwid has been a run­away suc­cess for the com­pany that pre­vi­ously had just one prod­uct with mean­ing­ful sales in In­dia, the Duster SUV. The small car gar­nered more than 1 lakh book­ings since launch six months ago.

Apart from a Kwid vari­ant with a 1-litre en­gine (the cur­rent car has a 800-cc en­gine) to take on the likes of Maruti’s Alto K10 and Wagon R, Re­nault has started work­ing on an evo­lu­tion of the CMF-A plat­form, called CMF-A+, which can ac­com­mo­date a wider body and more pow­er­ful en­gines.

The Kwid was the first car to be pro­duced on the CMF-A, or Com­mon Mod­ule Fam­ily A, plat­form, de­vel­oped jointly with Nis­san. The mod­i­fied plat­form is ex­pected to spawn out a mul­ti­pur­pose ve­hi­cle, co­de­named RBC, in the seg­ment where Maruti’s Er­tiga is the leader. A sub­four-me­ter sedan, co­de­named LBC, to take on the Maruti Dzire and a com­pact SUV, co­de­named HBC, to pit against Maruti Vi­tara Brezza, are among the other mod­els to hit the In­dian roads in the com­ing three years. From these three mod­els, the com­pany is tar­get­ing a vol­ume of 1.5 lakh to 2 lakh ve­hi­cles a year, in­clud­ing ex­ports.

“The MPV RBC is more or less fi­nalised on the de­sign front, whereas the sub-4-me­ter sedan and SUV are at a con­cep­tu­al­i­sa­tion stage,” said one of the five ven­dors.

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