French car manufacturer Renault’s run in India seems to have hit the right speed. The company reported an exponential jump of 160 per cent in its sales in March this year. But it has tough competition as it targets to corner at least five per cent of the Indian car market by the end of calendar year 2017. Hrishikesh Joshi talks about the company's India plans, new products and increasing production capacities. Edited excerpts...
What is the success mantra of Kwid? You have received tremendous response since the launch.
Kwid seems to be a game changer for Renault India. We have witnessed exponential growth in our sales of which is Kwid is a major contributor. For Kwid, we have focused on basics. Right value and right price was the biggest challenge for us. Kwid is highly localised at about 98 per cent. None of the foreign car manufacturer has this much of localisation. We have achieved market share of 4.1 per cent from 2 per cent in last two years. And we will achieve 5 per cent by end of 2017. Now, Renault India is a future ready company.
With growing sales, are you ramping up the production capacities, is supply a challenge for you?
We have already ramped the production capacities. Our Chennai plant has a production capacity of 480,000 units per annum. We are very much capable of supplying the cars in the market. Renault India also has a network of more than 270 sales and service facilities across the country. We sold 29,289 cars during the first three months of 2016, a 157 per cent growth over the same period in 2015. This month, we recorded our best ever sales figures in India. We are producing more than 10,000 Kwids per month and supply is not an issues at all.
What is the plan for the new Duster? Are you hoping the same magic once again?
We did an extensive research before launching of the new Duster. Based on that, we have decided not to change the design. However, we have made a few changes in technology, interiors and aesthetics of the vehicle. Overall, we have made 32 changes in the new Duster. Apart from, CMO 10 architecture, we have introduced 4x4 variant. There are very few cars in India which sell by their names and Duster is one of them. It’s a brand in itself. Many of our buyers are repeat customers. Duster is one car that has made Renault India.
Are you planning more products in future?
We expect Kwid to drive the volumes largely. Other models Renault presently offers are Pulse, Scala, Duster, Koleos and Lodgy MPV. We have to yet to launch one litre and AMT versions of Kwid in India. Our effort is to launch at least one new model in India every year over the next few years.