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Renault bets on new MPV and SUV to drive growth

Renault hopes big chunk of sales will come from Triber MPV to be launched in festive season & sub-4 m SUV next year.

Updated: Jun 27, 2019, 10.41 AM IST
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MUMBAI | NEW DELHI: The French carmaker Renault’s Indian subsidiary is banking on two products — an MPV and SUV — to bounce back in the Indian market in a bid to arrest flagging sales.

Fabrice Cambolive, senior vice-president, chairman of Asia Middle East India Pacific (AMIPacific) said that if this effort pays off, he expects Indian operations to break even after years of losses.

“In terms of profitability levers, our costs are under control with high localisation; we should export more and with higher volumes from Triber and the upcoming products in the domestic market, we should look at profits in the next couple of years,” said Cambolive.

With one product launch planned every year for the next three years, Renault has set itself a challenging target of doubling sales in India. While the Triber MPV will be launched in the upcoming festive season, Renault expects a sizeable chunk of its sales to come from the upcoming sub-4 meter SUV ‘HBC’ planned for 2020. Along with the newgeneration Kwid, Renault is likely to bring in the electric power-train on the entry car Kwid based on the KZE concept to expand its footprint in the market.

Experts said it will be a tall task for Renault, given the subdued market conditions, and that the company is trying to create a new segment by launching an MPV Triber in the Rs 4.5-Rs 6.5 lakh market. The company's volumes have already fallen off its peak to about 80,000 units at the end of FY19 from over a lakh units it sold in FY18. The carmaker’s market share has slipped to about 2.36%.

Renault had posted losses for five consecutive years from FY14 to FY18, and it cumulatively incurred a loss of over Rs 2,500 crore. As per the financials submitted to the ministry of corporate affairs, its loss more than doubled at the end of FY18 to about Rs 850 crore.

Against-the-tide


Barring a few successes from its product portfolio such as the Duster and Kwid, the launch of Lodgy, and later Kaptur, failed to make an impact on the market. Cambolive said the brand is still young in India and is learning from its failures. He admitted that India is a very demanding market and Renault will remain modest and humble. The focus will be on building awareness surrounding the brand, he emphasized.

Cambolive said he is aware of the successes and failures that Renault has gone through in India and the Indian management is ensuring that the company delivers a sustained sales performance.

Even as the car-maker builds its presence in the Indian market 'step by step', it will rely on exports which is profitable. Cambolive highlighted that Kwid has received a very good response in South Africa, where the car is a segment leader and has garnered over 2% market share.

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