More than a century after it was born, Renault announced its entry into India through the Renault-Nissan Alliance plant in the outskirts of Chennai. It took just three years to bring out the first car for India – Fluence – that set the ball rolling for the cars with the diamond logo. Renault India has never looked back since that day, 10 years ago.
While the Fluence was a car made for the world, Renault firmly cemented it place here over the years with a slew of award-winning cars meant for Indians. The focussed attention to the diverse and challenging market has been one of the major reasons for its rising average monthly sales.
Its decade here can be divided into four broad phases, starting with strengthening its foundation. The factory has now made itself into a manufacturing and business powerhouse. It has many best-sellers to its credit thanks to the Renault Nissan Technology & Business Centre India that is critical in every step of vehicle development. Renault also went a step ahead and established a Design Studio right here in India.
The Duster marks the beginning of its second phase – localisation. Localising a global model is a unique challenge but Renault was helped by the fact that it toes the fine line between conventional SUVs and modern crossovers making it inherently practical for markets like India. With innovation and customer focus at the centre of its concept, Duster proved a runaway success creating a segment that is now one of the biggest driving forces for the Indian passenger car industry. It also gave Renault the confidence of building a network that started with just 35 outlets in 2011 and is now over 500.
The third phase was consolidation. Renault used its Design Studio in India to drive in the Kwid – a game-changing car for the marquee, which emerged from India and then reached out to the world. It caught the imagination of customers in the segment with its SUVish looks and affordability. While the onus was on cost of ownership, Renault further upgraded it over the years with design, safety and even tech updates such as AMT to make it one of the most wholesome products in its category.
The fourth phase, which rounds of its decade here, is modernisation. Based on the versatile CMF-A platform, first came Triber MPV followed by Kiger SUV. The latter is turning out to be a great example of an aspirational SUV with its long list of features and best-in-segment fuel efficiency of 20.5kpl. These help it bring to the top of the consideration set of new car buyers. Renault, which also pioneered turbo-charging technology, has been walking the talk by offering it on the SUV range.
This steady approach has resulted in fast-growing popularity. The total customer count is now over 7.5 lakh and that has happened through a focussed approach on the semi-urban and rural markets as well. For the record, Renault is the highest-selling European brand in India, today.
The past decade has been one of creating new categories and offering technologies with game-changing models. Having built a strong foundation both in the front end (such as dealer network and financing) to the back end (manufacturing and design), a 360-degree capability has helped it touch new heights in its decade of existence… one that is a major highlight in Renault’s more than a century-old legacy.
Disclaimer: Content Produced by RENAULT INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED