French carmaker Renault on Tuesday said it was looking to India as a key market for growth, above the world's largest automobile market China, where it said it is not ready to take on competition in a big way.
The carmaker, which in alliance with Nissan is the world's third largest carmaker, entered India only last month with the launch of the Fluence. This is to be followed by four more models including two SUVs and a small car by the end of 2012. The small car, based on the V-platform that is also the underpinnings of the Nissan Micra that is available in India, would be a global launch at the Delhi Auto Expo next year, and has been designed at Renault's design centre in Mumbai."India along with Brazil and Russia are the markets which we have identified where we would grow," said Katsumi Nakamura, executive vice president, Asia Africa, Renault. "China is a complex market and we need time to prepare our network and resources and be sure that we would succeed there. Our partner Nissan is already there so for the time being they would take care of China."
Renault Nissan sold 7.27 million cars in 2010, ahead of VW and behind Toyota and General Motors. By 2013, Renault is targeting sales of 3 million from the current 2.62 million, and is eyeing the 10 million mark by 2016. India's contribution, however, would be a mere 100,000 units.
The company which is at the forefront on electric vehicle (EV) technology that is flooding the West, is eager to bring its electric range to India as well.
"We have worked extensively on electric vehicles and are bullish on it," said Jerome Stoll, executive vice president, marketing and sales, Renault. "Everywhere EVs need incentive and at times subsidies to start with, and if the Indian government is aggressive and gives us some help, we will be more than happy to bring the technology here."