French auto major Renault today launched compact car 'Kwid' in India with introductory price starting at Rs. 2.57 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), igniting a price war in the entry level segment that is dominated by Maruti Suzuki's Alto.
The new car, which would come in four variants and two options, is priced between Rs. 2.57 lakh and Rs. 3.53 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). It will also compete with Hyundai's Eon besides Tata Motor's Nano.
Renault is betting big on the Kwid as it chases a market share of 5 per cent in the Indian market by 2017 from the current level of just below 2 per cent. It is entering the mini car segment which accounts for nearly 25 per cent of the total automobile sales volumes in the country with the new model.
"We are confident that Kwid will be a big contributor for the company in achieving the 5 per cent market share in India by 2017," Renault India Operations, Country CEO and Managing Director, Sumit Sawhney told reporters here.
Kwid, which has been developed with an eye on the Indian market and is to be sold in other emerging markets as well, has 98 per cent localisation.
"The level of localisation we have achieved in Kwid is the highest ever by an auto manufacturer in India when a new model is launched," he said, adding that it would help in keeping the maintenance cost of Kwid lower by 19 per cent from the market leader.
Currently, Alto from Maruti leads the segment selling over 23,000 units a month, followed by Hyundai Eon at about 6,700 units per month.
While Maruti Alto800 is priced between Rs. 2.52 lakh and Rs. 3.72 lakh, Hyundai Eon is priced between Rs. 3.10 lakh and Rs. 4.27 lakh. Tata Motor's Nano is priced between Rs. 1.99 lakh and Rs. 2.53 lakh (all prices ex-showroom Delhi).
Sawhney, however, declined to share how many units of Kwid that the company expects to sell.
"With Renault Kwid we offer our customers the best compact hatchback which has been designed and developed by Renault's global teams including India, making it a truly international car," he said.
Besides, the company is also looking to expand its service network to 205 dealerships by the end of this year and to further enhance it to 280 outlets by the end of next year, Sawhney said.
Developed with an investment of around Rs 3,000 crore, the SUV-shaped small car will be powered by an 800cc petrol engine. The company is looking to make India a regional hub for exporting the new car.
Kwid is powered by all-new 800 cc engine delivering mileage of 25.17 kmpl, making it the country's most fuel efficient petrol car.