Renault India to launch a small car under Rs. 4.5 lacs, an untouched segment
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The French car maker, Renault is looking ahead to expand its portfolio in the Indian auto market by introducing a new model in the small car segment with a price tag of less than Rs. 4.5 lacs. At the media drive of Renault Duster, organised in the second week of July 2012, Head, Renault India, Marc Nassif commented that the company is interested in exploring a sub-4.5 lacs segment followed with a new launch. As of now, the Pulse hatchback is the cheapest product in the Renault’s line-up with a base price of Rs. 4.5 lacs.
The Indian arm of the car maker is targeting feasible sales volumes of 30,000 units for the current fiscal. With the latest launch of Duster in Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) segment, the company has already ramped up 8,000 bookings and is hoping for the best in future. Besides, Renault has lined-up an entry-level sedan Scala, which is anticipated to hit at the Indian shores soon. The company officials believes that with the launch of a new sedan, it will easily achieve the sales target. However, the major roadblock remains the fewer number of dealerships maintained by the auto maker in India. As of now Renault have 55 distributors in India across major cities and has future plans to open 45 more by the end of 2012.
Concerning the new small car, which will be placed below Rs. 4.5 lacs, it is speculated that the Renault will introduce its global partner Datsun brand in India under its own badge. With the launches being scheduled for 2014, majority of them will come with a price tag below Rs. 5 lacs. It is believed that the French auto maker will produce its new models at the facility run by the Renault-Nissan alliance in Chennai.
Renault has been strengthening its association with Nissan over past few years with Pulse hatchback being a revamped version of Nissan Micra and Scala rumoured to be a re-engineered Nissan Sunny. So the chances are strong that the upcoming small car will also be a remodelled K2 or I2. The hatchback codenamed K2 is being developed on the V-platform and the I2 will be built on a new platform. While the former will square off against Hyundai i10 and Maruti Suzuki Wagon R, the latter will compete with the likes of Maruti Suzuki Alto and Hyundai Eon. Both these models will mark the comeback of Datsun brand in the country.
According to Renault, there will be around 6.5 million cars plying on the Indian roads by the year 2020. The car maker is keen on registering India among its top three markets, and therefore is eyeing to attain a dominant share in the same.
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