In a bid to take on the mightly Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai in the ‘A’ segment, French auto major Renault on Wednesday announced the world premiere of the ‘Kwid’, an 800cc petrol engine hatch. Carlos Ghosn, global chairman and CEO of Groupe Renault, launched the new car, which will be produced in collaboration with Renault’s technical team from France, Japan and India.
The first car to be developed under the Common Module Family – A (Affordable) platform of Renault-Nissan’s alliance partners, the Kwid is priced competitively at Rs 3-4 lakh. Sales will commence during the festive season, starting September.
The Kwid will compete with the Maruti Alto and the Hyundai Eon. While the Alto carries a price tag of Rs 2.5-3.7 lakh, the Eon is priced at Rs 3.1-4.3 lakh.
“It’s going to be the game-changer for us and help us achieve our desire to have a 5% market share in next two years against 1.5% now. It’s the most fuel-efficient car in this segment and comes with a dynamic profile and SUV look tailored to its dimensions. It can easily carry five persons,” said Carlos Ghosn. The next car under the CMF-A platform will be from Nissan India and would be launched early next year, he added.
“With the Kwid and the recently launched Lodgy, we would have covered 75-80% of the Indian car market. The A segment alone garners 25% of India’s 3-million-plus car market (750,000 units per annum) and Maruti and Hyundai are the leading players in this segment. We see a huge opportunity for us to take them on with Kwid,” said Ghosn.
The company has invested about Rs 3,000 crore in the car, including the platform, design, product development and other areas, he added.
The Kwid will come with 98% localisation, the first car with such high levels of localisation. While it will be introduced in India during the festive season, Kwid would also be exported to southeast Asia and neighbouring countries in phases. “We have no plans to take it to European markets. India would play a regional hub for the Kwid.”
“This is the beginning of our growth momentum in India. Except the Duster, other models such as Koleos, Fluence, Scala and Pulse have failed to meet our expectations. We are here to play a long-term role and all these exercises are aimed at testing ourselves and our products to understand and learn Indian dynamics. We hope Kwid and Lodgy will start giving enough room to grow here,” Ghosn said.
One can expect more products from the alliance partners going forward, particularly from this CMF-A platform.
Nissan would launch its own product, codenamed Redi Go, sometime next year. “India is the real test market for us.
If the new launches are successful in India, we can make and sell them anywhere in the world,” he added.