French car major Renault made its biggest splash in India yet unveiling its small car Kwid on Wednesday. It will be launched ahead of the festive season this year and priced at Rs. 3-4 lakh.
The car will compete with India's largest selling car for over a decade-- Maruti Alto, and Hyundai Eon. Powered by a 800cc petrol engine and developed as part of Renault Nissan alliance's new frugal CMF-A (common module family-affordable) platform, the French firm expects Kwid will go a long way in helping it achieve not only its target marketshare of 5% but also in breaking even in India in the medium term.
"After the Duster, Kwid will be our next global car," said Carlos Ghosn, CEO, Renault Nissan. "I expect it to be a gamechanger in India. This is the only car that is being launched with an over-97% local content. India is a very tough market and we have learnt a lot of lessons here. The car is a result of five years of learning. If it succeeds with good numbers here, we are sure it will be a success in any other market that we launch it globally."
The platform will be used for many more cars including Nissan's sister brand Datsun's upcoming Redi Go small car, slated to be launched in India next year. Renault claims Kwid will offer best in class fuel economy, interior space and boot space.
"India is not a very easy market for newcomers and with the Kwid we are paying tribute to whatever we have learnt here," Ghosn added. "We cannot escape from the fact that in the next 5 years the Indian market holds a big potential. India and China are the only two markets with a certain size that can grow at over 6% annually. We believe India can be world's fourth largest car market behind China, US and Japan."
Renault said it has spent close to Rs. 2,000 crore towards development of the model but added that the investment was 50% less than what it would entail in most cases. Renault shares it factory at Oragadam on the outskirts of Chennai with Nissan that means sharing fixed costs and helps contain investments. Ghosn, however, added there would be no cross-badging of cars between the two companies anymore.
"Nissan will use the same platform, engine transmission etcetra but it will be a different design and appeal to different set of customers," Ghosn added.