Renault Kwid emerges as a strong contender against strong players like Maruti and Hyundai

Renault Kwid emerges as a strong contender against strong players like Maruti and Hyundai New Renault KWID
author image Nikhil Puthran
Thursday 21 May 2015, 08:37 AM

Country's leading automotive players like Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motors have got a new competitor in the entry-level car segment. French auto major Renault has finally unveiled the much awaited Kwid that will hit the market priced between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 4 lakh around the festive season this year. Developed at an investment of around Rs 3,000 crore, the SUV-shaped small car will be powered by an 800cc petrol engine. The company is looking to make India a regional hub for exporting the new car.

"The Kwid will be a game changer and it will be in the entry-level segment that accounts for 25 per cent of the Indian car market today," Renault Group Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn said here while unveiling the car. He said Renault has set a target of cornering 5 per cent market share in India and Kwid will play a big role in it.

Renault Kwid (XBA)

"Renault Kwid will be a big contributor to our India growth story first, secondly in other emerging markets and then globally," Ghosn said, adding, "For Renault brand the milestone (for India) is 5 per cent market share. Today we have 1.5 per cent market share." Car sales in India in financial year 2015 stood at 18,76,017 units compared with 17,86,826 units in the previous fiscal, up 4.99 per cent, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

In FY14-15 Renault sold 4,006 units as against 10,367 in FY13-14, while in utility vehicles, it clocked 39,378 units as against 47,001 in FY13-14. Dubbing the Kwid as "a car for conquest", Ghosn said: "Today we have no presence in the market (entry-level segment) and it (Kwid) has two main competitors Maruti Suzuki from one side and Hyundai Motor from other side." While Maruti Alto800 is priced between Rs 2.83 lakh and Rs 3.4 lakh, Hyundai Eon is priced between Rs 3.09 lakh and Rs 4.22 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

Ghosn said one has to compare Kwid with competitors "for its potential" and the new car from Renault will be priced "between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 4 lakh and will be launched in the market around the festive season in September-November". Expressing confidence of Kwid doing well in India, Ghosn said, at present, the products available in the entry-level segment offer either affordability or attractiveness or innovation, but the Kwid will offer all the three attributes.

Developed on Renault-Nissan Alliance's global CMF-A platform, Ghosn said it was a combined effort from engineers in France, Japan and India. "We are marrying Indian skills with French and Japanese skills," he said, adding it was important for the Renault-Nissan Alliance to develop the platform in India.

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