French auto major Renault is keen to tap the potential of the fast growing multi-utility vehicles (MUV) segment in India apart from having a presence in the sub-Rs 4 lakh car market in the country. The company that sells five models in the Indian market is looking for nearly 90 per cent growth in sales this year, riding on its popular SUV Duster and also bring variants of the model by next year.
"... The objective now is to make sure that in the next introduction of cars, we want to enter the significant segments or growing segments where we are not present today," Renault Chairman of Asia Pacific Region Gilles Normand said at the sidelines of the Tokyo Motor Show.
Elaborating, he further said: "If I give you some concrete example, one of the segments which is growing in India is MUV segment, which is fast growing. So it is one of the possibilities."
Another possibility, he said, is the below Rs 4 lakh segment, which accounts for 40 per cent of the the Indian passenger car market, as the company's current line up is starting above Rs 4 lakh.
"These two segments are quite important for us...We are definitely working on the next wave of products, out of which one will be connected to a fast growing segment in India and the other one will be from the global line up for India market," Normand said without elaborating.
On the sales expectation in India, he said: "Last year, we sold 35,000 units, this year we think we will be over 65,000-66,000 units."
Bullish on the Indian market despite the ongoing slowdown, he said: "Penetration is low, so there is great potential for growth."
He, however, added that the growth of Indian market is "not going to be very very regular over the years".
"We know very well that in a country like India, you have some pauses in growth. It doesn't change our long term perspective about India at all."
He said the company's current focus in India will be to scale up dealership network and consolidate with the existing products.
On the declining sales of Duster, he said: "Typically in India when you introduce a new model there is lot of enthusiasm. In our case, we had a higher level of sales and now stabilisation is happening at a very significant level. The segment is busy and the market is not very good, after the initial enthusiasm and we are stabilising."
When asked about plans to overcome the sales dip of Duster, he said: "We are going to manage the life-cycle of this product, you can expect that in the coming months, there will be variations of the Duster."