Renault Plans to Launch Four New Cars in India, Triber MPV Coming This Year
The Renault Triber is an MPV based on the Kwid platform and will be launched in the second quarter of this year. Though slightly smaller, the Triber will compete with Maruti Ertiga, the best-selling multi-seater.
Renault Kwid. (Image: Renault)
French car major Renault, which had a runaway success with its two models but facing volume headwinds since the past two years, will roll out four models, including two all-new ones, over the next 15-18 months to revive its sagging fortunes here. Sliding demand for its all models, except the entry-level model Kwid, has eroded its market share in the country. As per the data from the industry lobby Siam, Renault India's market share has almost halved to a low 2.3 percent in FY19 down from 4.43 percent in FY17. In FY19, its sales plunged 22 percent to just about 82,000 units even as the passenger vehicle industry managed to grow by nearly 3 percent, as per the Siam data.
"As part of our mid-term plan which is 2020-22, we will be launching two all-new models--the RBC (code name for the new MPV Triber) that will be launched in the September quarter, and the HBC (code for an unnamed new compact SUV) which will be rolled out in 2020. That apart, we'll have a face-lift each for the Duster and the Kwid this year itself," Venkatram Mamillapalle, who took over the reins of Renault as managing director from March, told PTI.
The mid-term plan is in force and the company has to double our market share by 2022, he underlined and said the second leg of the revival plan is to more than double the product coverage from 24 percent to over 50 percent. "We are present in only 24 percent of the market now and we would like to take our product coverage to beyond 50 percent by 2022," Mamillapalle said.
The Triber is a multi-purpose vehicle based on the Kwid platform and will be commercially launched in the second quarter. Though slightly smaller, the Triber will compete with Maruti Ertiga, the best-selling multi-seater. Renault currently sells around 7,500 units a month, of which over 5,000 are the Kwid, and around 2,000 are the Duster and Captur combined with the rest being contributed by the Lodgy, which has not took the volume test so far.
It can be noted that Renault had a runaway success with its launch model the Duster, which had even displaced the Scorpio from the M&M stable as the best-selling SUV in the country shortly after its launch in 2012, and has sold over 2,00,000 units since then but today it does not come anywhere in volume sweepstake.
The Kwid with its two variants are the volume grosser since the launch in October 2016, but has lost the initial steam of late. Its other models like the premium compact SUV the Captur and the MPV Lodgy have also failed to make a mark.
It has also stopped selling imported models since the past few years now. Mamillapalle admitted that the company has made some mistakes with some of its models like the Captur and the Lodgy, which sort of gave an impression that the carmaker was confused about its India plans. He also admitted to the problems at the dealerships, besides missing the deadlines on new launches. It can be noted that many Renault dealerships have left or taken up dealerships for other brands while some of them even exited the business.
Renault today hawks its four models across 350 dealerships-a number the market leader Maruti has added in the past financial year alone. Like elsewhere, Renault has formed a manufacturing partnership with Japanese carmaker Nissan in the country. New investments will go in for tuning the Renault Nissan joint venture manufacturing plant to produce new models. The joint venture runs a 4-lakh unit per annum plant in Chennai, the capacity of which is heavily under-utilised now.
"The idea is to become profitable and to achieve that we have to make optimum utilisation of the available capacity. Our share in the 4 lakh-units plant is 2 lakh and we have to reach that target first," Mamillapalle said.
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