India now among top 6 markets for Renault

The quarter ended March has been one of the best for Renault India. Among global markets, Renault registrations in India were one of the largest, with about 200 per cent growth, thanks to their new small car, the Kwid.

The company adds that while the industry expects to grow in single digits this year, its own growth will be in double digits. Since the Kwid was launched, the group has booked 120,000 orders and registered nearly 23,000 unit sales since the beginning of the year.

Renault India's contribution to the group's global revenue has also jumped sharply, with the country among its top five in the world. Renault India's market share was up to 2.17 per cent in 2015-16 from 0.2 per cent in 2014-15. Company sales rose to 43,859 units from 4,006 units, respectively, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.

Sumit Sawhney, managing director at Renault India, said they now had the sixth largest brand (January-March 2016 sales) in India as compared to eighth last year. Apart from the Kwid, this was also driven by its SUV, the Duster, followed by the Lodgy.

“The biggest numbers are coming from the Kwid, which has already overtaken Duster's volume, since the Duster segment is smaller as compared to the Kwid's,” he said. The segment in which Kwid operates accounts for nearly 25 per cent of the market.

Renault has brought down the Kwid's waiting period from the earlier six months to four months, by increasing monthly production from 2,500 units to 5,000 and then to 7,500 units; it is now close to 10,000 units.

“Our intention is to bring it down further. This will be the fastest ramp-up for Renault in India,” said Sawhney. He added, if the company keeps giving 10,000 units a month, the waiting period will come down to around three months. It has commenced a third shift at its factory near this city.
In March, Renault sold around 9,800 units of the Kwid and will do a similar number this month. The Kwid is now among the top 10 selling cars. "For any manufacturer, their smallest car is the volume driver and it is going to be the same for Renault," said the MD.

The company says it plans to launch at least one new model every year for the next few years in India. It is in the process of launching a new Duster, an automated version, followed by a one-litre engine for the Kwid this year.