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Renault plans 5 new cars in 3 yrs, seeks regulatory clarity

By Deepak Patel
January 10, 2024 21:26 IST
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The Centre should provide a clear regulatory pathway that it will follow so that automobile companies can plan their investments and car launches accordingly, Venkatram Mamillapalle, managing director (MD) & chief executive officer (CEO), Renault India Operations, said on Tuesday.


Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Renault is planning to launch five cars — including a B-plus segment sport utility vehicle (SUV), a C-segment SUV and an electric vehicle (EV) — in India in the next three years, he told reporters.


In early 2022, the ministry of road transport and highways had announced that cars in India would be required to have six airbags from October 1, 2022.

Subsequently, the deadline was extended to October 1, 2023.

However, in September 2023, the central government reversed its decision, stating that it no longer intended to make six airbags mandatory for cars.

Mamillapalle said, “On six airbags, all our car range is ready.

"The engineering is done.

"The suppliers are preparing.

"The cars are going to be there in the market.

"Competition may not have them (the airbags).

"We are now taking a U-turn by creating airbags as an option....But, engineering-wise, it is a sunk cost.”

“We don't want to get into this situation again...If the government lays down a path of regulatory aspects, it should follow it,” he added.

Mamillapalle said the company is waiting for the government to formulate regulations on issues such as E20 (ethanol-blended fuel) and pass-by noise (upper noise limit for vehicle horn), among others.

“Even the draft policy for carbon trading is yet to come for the automotive sector,” he added.

He said the company will disclose the launch dates for the B-plus segment and C-segment SUVs once it gains clarity on all relevant regulatory issues.

The B-segment comprises entry-level SUVs like the Kia Sonet and Hyundai Venue, while the C-segment includes SUVs such as the Kia Seltos and Hyundai Creta.

Mamillapalle said, “Once the engineering activity starts, you have to start pumping money in. It is in crores.

"Under the given situation, what we have today, we have to be cautious because we are planning launches after launches.

"Therefore, on regulatory issues, clarity is very much required by us to do the engineering and prepare for the launches accordingly.”

He said that India is following Europe in terms of automobile-related regulations.

Therefore, it is easier for the French company to adapt to them.

“We need clarity on the question of ‘when’. When will the Indian regulations come on board?" he noted.

Renault's domestic sales have been going through a rough patch for the last few years.

During April-November 2023, the company's domestic sales stood at 31,320 units compared to 57,787 units in the corresponding period of 2022.

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Deepak Patel
Source: source

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