Chasing volumes in India, French car major Renault plans to launch more products in the high selling sub-four meter category even as it prepares to get past 5% market share by the end of 2017.
The company, which currently sells five models in the country including SUV Duster and hatchback Kwid, plans more ‘Made in India’ products and to introduce one new car each year as parts of its “product development strategy”.
“In India, most of the cars, over 70% are less than 4 meters. The weight of mini segment where we have Kwid is 25%. So we have a large space to make our portfolio,” Renault India Operations Country CEO and Managing Director Sumit Sawhney said.
With 4-meter plus SUV segment, where the company has Duster, remaining in slow lane, it is the sub-4 meter SUVs and sedans which are bringing in volumes for the industry, he added.
“So clearly we have to bring vehicles in segments where we are not present and segments which can bring volume to us. This is what the strategy is. That’s how there will be one new car coming every year,” Sawhney said.
When asked if the company is planning to introduce a compact SUV anytime soon in the country to take on Maruti’s high selling Vitara Brezza, Sawhney said: “I would not confirm anything right now.
“When I said for the first time that we will be launching a mini car people used to say this is a segment where nobody has succeeded. But you know what we got was a game changer in innovation. So, you will see innovation and game-changing products coming from Renault’s side in every launch.”
The company does not want to follow “me too” strategy, he added.
“Whatever car we want to bring, we want to bring volumes with that car. We won’t bring a car just for the heck of bringing a car,” Sawhney said.
The company, he said, is in the process of transitioning to mainstream products, moving away from the earlier strategy of having SKD and cross badged products.
“When we started our journey in India we had a joint venture and we wanted to come back to India very fast, so we adopted a bridge strategy. It was on back of SKD (semi-knocked down) products and cross badging products. This was only done to immediately come back,” Sawhney said.
With three mainstream products, Duster, Lodgy and Kwid, the company is now moving more towards the mainstream strategy, he said.