Renault India eyes one new car a year as medium-term plan

French carmaker Renault is planning to expand its presence in India by unveiling one new model every year as part of a medium-term strategy in India, Sumit Sawhney, country CEO and MD, Renault India Operations said.

Talking to The Hindu, he said, “We are keen to build the right portfolio of good cars from our company for this market and [are] not chasing percentages.” India, he said, was among Renault’s top 10 markets in 2016.

Renault India is a fully-owned subsidiary of Renault S A S France. Since its entry in 2011, the company has so far introduced three models — Duster (SUV), Kwid (hatchback) and Lodgy (MUV).

The cars are manufactured the Oragadam facility in Chennai with a capacity of 4.8 lakh units per annum. Renault also has a global innovation centre and a design centre each in Chennai and Mumbai. “We have 5,000 people working at the Innovation centre,” he said.

‘Localisation high’

He said that the localisation level of its cars was high . “We are considered among the successful Make in India case studies,” he said, adding that Duster had a localisation level of about 80% and was Renault’s first step in building volumes, followed by its hatchback KWID whose global unveiling took place in India.

With a 4% share of the country’s automotive market, Renault sold one lakh vehicles in 2016 “We were the seventh-largest car maker in India by sales in 2016 and we are still there, so far,” he said, adding that breaching the one-lakh mark was a milestone.

He said that the introduction of Captur, a premium SUV, would help build volumes as well as turnover.

Renault plans to aggressively expand its network having ramped up from 14 outlets in 2011 to 300. This will reach 320 by end-2017 with app-based support systems to reach Tier II and III cities, he said.