Renault's KWID launches globally in India

Renault's KWID launches globally in India

Carlos Ghosn targets 5% mkt share with new 'game changer'

Renault's KWID launches globally in India

 Cashing in on the burgeoning first-time car buyers in India, French auto major Renault showcased its spanking new global compact car ‘KWID’ here on Wednesday.

The 800 cc car comes with with 98 per cent localisation, which includes 60 per cent from the region around the Chennai plant where the car will be manufactured. KWID is an important milestone for Renault, which will compete in the small-car segment with Maruti's Alto, Hyundai's Eon, Chevrolet’s Spark, as well as Nissan’s Datsun.

KWID will be launched in India in the second half of 2015, the festive period in September to November, and it will be priced between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 4 lakh. With around 40 per cent market share, the sub-Rs 4-lakh segment is the single-largest car market in the country, which is dominated by Maruti Suzuki with its multiple models, and Hyundai at a distant second place.

Briefing reporters, Groupe Renault Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn said, “KWID is based on the CMF-A (common module family-affordable) concept which will be a game changer in the Indian market which is dominated by Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai. For Renault, India will be the fourth biggest car market in the world after US, China, and Japan. Currently we have close to two per cent market share in India and are aiming for five per cent share over the next four to five years.”

Not for Europe soon

Surprisingly, Renault is not in a hurry to launch KWID in Europe. “As of now, this car is first for India and its neighbouring countries, besides South-east Asian regions. It will be marketed in emerging economies like Brazil, China, South Africa, Indonesia and others,” he said.

Renault in a statement said the KWID will be the first Renault-Nissan Alliance model to use the CMF-A platform. It said the CMF-A model on average reduces 30-40 per cent costs in the entry-level model, and achieves 20-30 per cent reduction in parts cost, largely because 98 per cent of its suppliers are based in India.

The company said the platform made use of resources and staff in France, Japan, Korea and India to produce the car. Vehicle testing was done in various locations with body and chassis tested in Japan, body equipment evaluated in Korea, and endurance tests carried out in France. Renault said India was the venue for overall and assembly testing.

The company claimed that KWID overturned “established A-segment design cues thanks to a robust, stylish exterior plus a modern, welcoming interior equipped with unprecedented features for its segment”. KWID is 3.68 metres long and 1.58 metres wide, which Renault says makes it ideal for urban traffic. Also, the car’s high-up “driving position provides greater visibility for more relaxed journeys”, even as its “upright front end and short front and rear overhangs provide owners with the look associated with SUVs”, Renault said.

Sumit Sawhney, Country CEO and Managing Director, Renault India Operations, said: “Renault will be increasing its sales outlets from the present 157 to 280 by next year.”