Renault to have 100 dealers in India by 2012 end: Curran

"We are looking seriously towards India, which is amongst the top three strategic markets for us. We shall have 40 dealers by end of this year and ramp it up to 100 by 2012 end, when our five models shall be on Indian roads," Renault India Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Len Curran told PTI.

The company targets to have 100 dealers across 75 cities in the country. "We plan to launch Koleos, a high-end SUV, in October this year, which shall be followed by roll-out of three more cars next year including a B-segment hatchback," he said.

With the proposed launch of four more car models in India over next one year period, the Europe's second largest carmaker is also likely to increase the localisation of products. "By the time we have five models on Indian roads the localisation of products can go up to 60 per cent," a company spokesperson said.

The company today launched its luxury sedan - Fluence - here, at present the only car to be assembled in India at its Renault-Nissan joint alliance manufacturing facility in Chennai. "We shall be moving from tier I cities to tier II and III, and as we move ahead dealer network shall get expanded," Curran said.

The company, which today launched its luxury sedan at ex-showroom price of Rs 14.68 lakh for petrol version and Rs 13.24 lakh for diesel variant, said it is eyeing five per cent share in the rapidly growing Indian car market.

"To be a serious player we need to have five per cent market share in India, which is a fast-growing market," Curran said. Russia and Brazil are the other two important markets Renault is focusing on.

The company has also proposed to ramp up its production capacity at the Chennai facility from the existing two lakh units per annum to 4 lakh units over next 14 to 18 months, with an addition of power train assembly line.

"Currently we are getting engine and gear boxes from Europe and Turkey, but soon we are going to add a power train assembly line at the Chennai facility to meet our local requirements here," a company spokesperson said.

In 2010, the company sold 1.30 lakh units of the Fluence worldwide. The company has placed the Fluence in a segment, where cars like Volkswagen Jetta, Skoda Laura and Toyota Corolla are available in the range of Rs 13 lakh to 16.5 lakh.

The company is also looking to export its right hand drive car models proposed to be manufactured in India to markets like United Kingdom.

"We shall be exporting a few right hand drive models manufactured in India to markets like UK," Curran said.

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