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Rediff News  All News  » Business » Renault sees more steam in Kwid despite volume blips

Renault sees more steam in Kwid despite volume blips

March 10, 2017 14:28 IST

Kwid's early success is evident from a number of 50,000 in booking in just about a month of launch in September 2015

With Carlos Ghosn, the chief at Renault-Nissan taking comfort from the sight of profitability in Renault's India operations, a lot is riding on Kwid, the company's best seller in India.

The fifteen-month old SUV styled entry segment car though has seen some weakness in volume recently. Having sold more than 140,000 units of the Kwid, Renault today launched a new variant under the Kwid. The Kwid Climber will be available at a price of Rs 430,000 and Rs 460,000 (ex-showroom, Delhi).

The car, which is priced significantly higher than the entry level Kwid (Rs 264,000) is being targeted at the young achievers.

"This vehicle offers a lot of style quotient. The customer today seeks trendier and energetic products. It is a perfect semblance of style and premiumness," said Sumit Sawhney, chief executive officer and managing director at Renault India.

Kwid's early success is evident from a number of 50,000 in booking in just about a month of launch in September 2015. The company announced in March 2016 that bookings hit another milestone of 100,000 units.

Yet another milestone of 150,000 bookings was made public in July 2016. When Renault expanded the Kwid range with launch of 1 litre engine in August last year, it said cumulative booking Kwid stood at 165,000 vehicles.

Sawhney declined to share the cumulative bookings for Kwid. He also said the monthly booking details could not be shared. Kwid competes with the country's most sold car, the Alto (Maruti Suzuki), the Eon (Hyundai) and the Tiago (Tata Motors).

Volumes sold by the company hit an eight-month low of 6,900 in January. After hitting a high of about 10,000 units around August-September, the number looks under pressure since November.

The company said February was better at 9,600 units. "Our aim is to sell 8,000-10,000 units of the Kwid every month," said Sawhney. Kwid's significance is evident from the fact that it brings over 80 per cent of the volume Renault sells in the country, now its eighth biggest market. The French car maker now commands about 4.5 per cent market in India.

The cumulative sales of Kwid has allowed the company to negotiate for supply of components from vendors at a lower price, thereby aiding profitability.

Even while he is reluctant to talk about latest bookings, Sawhney believes there is much steam left in the Kwid.

"This car has a potential to sell more. I will not put a number to where it can move up," he added. Renault has scaled its sales network by adding 65 points in 2016 calendar year. Another 50 outlets will be added in 2017, taking the number to 320.

Ajay Modi