Renault India held a media interaction at the Renault Duster media drive last week. During this chat, the head honcho of Renault India, Marc Nassif, evinced interest in launching a small car price below 4.5 lakhs. Currently, the cheapest Renault that one can buy is the Pulse which starts around 4.5 lakhs.
Renault India has set a very achievable sales target of 30,000 units for this year. Considering the Duster has already moped up 8,000 bookings so far and there is a mass market sedan Scela just around the corner, we believe that Renault India should breeze through the target.
The only hindrance can be the limited number of dealership that Renault has in India. Currently, Renault India operates 55 dealerships, which should touch 100 by the year end.
Coming back to the sub 4.5 lakh car, we have ample reason to believe that it will be one of the Datsun cars re-badged with Renault’s tilted rhombus.
Nissan India announced the revival of the Datsun brand with the first cars coming in 2014. Most Datsun cars will be priced below 5 lakhs in India. The Datsun models will be manufactured in the Renault-Nissan alliance factory in Chennai.
Renault has leveraged its relationship with Nissan in the past. The Pulse is a re-worked Nissan Micra. The Scela is expected to be a re-worked Nissan Sunny. Thus, there is a very good chance that the sub 4.5 lakh car from Renault might be a reworked K2 or I2 (K2 is the codename of hatchback, taking shape on the V-Platform to battle the likes of the i10 and Wagon R, while the I2 is based on an all-new platform for the segment having the Alto and Eon, both developed for the revival of the Datsun brand).
Renault predicts that India would have about 6.5 million vehicles a year on road by 2020. Renault wants to be a dominant shareholder of that pie and make India a top 3 market for Renault globally.