French car major Renault has launched its premium midsizer Fluence in India. The Fluence is the first of a 5-product plan that will go in till end of 2012. The Fluence, priced at Rs. 13 lakh for the petrol variant and Rs. 14.4 lakh for the diesel version, will be sold through the company’s first fourteen outlets that makes up Renault’s new Indian network. India is currently one of the top three countries in Renault’s international development strategy.
Renault’s Indian development initiative began in 2007 with the launch of the Logan (now Mahindra Verito), and is now picking up speed with a full-scale product offensive: in October, Fluence will be followed by Koleos (also assembled at the Chennai plant, in south-east India). This will be followed by three further models, including an SUV, in 2012.
Renault India Managing Director Marc Nassif commented: “Launch of Fluence in India is the start of a wide-reaching product offensive on one of the markets considered a pillar of Renault’s international development the ‘2016 - Drive the Change’ plan. With the Chennai plant, along with Renault’s engineering, design and logistics centers, plus a dealer network that will number 100 outlets by the end of 2012, Renault is doing everything to offer Indian customers a range of quality vehicles well matched to local market conditions”.
The just launched Fluence will compete with the likes of Toyota’s Corolla Altis and Chevrolet Cruze.
With annual growth of around 20 percent over the last few years, the Indian market is one of the most vigorous in the world. And growth potential is very high. The market totaled 1.2 million vehicles in 2005 and is expected to reach 3 million by the end of 2011, then 3.7 million by 2015, making India the world’s fourth biggest auto market. Around 60 percent of customers are first-time buyers, and 57 percent are aged under 35 (2009 figures).
Renan Livet, marketing manager for the Asia-Africa region notes: “The Indians love technology, ranging from the internet and latest-generation mobile phones to high-tech products of all kinds. Sure, people want affordable cars, but they also want them to bristle with new technologies; so Renault is entering the Indian market from the top end to establish a strong brand image driven by the technological virtues of its best products”.