2012 News Maker: Marc Nassif

Keeping his focus on rolling out five Renault products in India by end-2012, Nassif has strengthened the dealer and service network in tandem with the launches.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 21 Dec 2012 Views icon4279 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
2012 News Maker: Marc Nassif
For Marc Nassif, an Egyptian national who migrated to France at a very early age, it must be a sense of pride watching the positive response to Renault’s Duster SUV, the carmaker’s make-or-break product for India. He not only managed to get the product right first time round but he kept its pricing competitive and a tad lower than competition to draw customers, indicating that he had caught the feel of the Indian customer’s pulse.

Right from the time he took over the stewardship of Renault in India, he has showed a clear-headed vision of where he wants to position Renault, which remains relatively unknown in India, and worked towards it methodically. Keeping his focus on rolling out five Renault products in India by end-2012, Nassif has strengthened the dealer and service network in tandem with the new model launches. For instance, Renault’s five-model launch and the establishment of 75 dealerships in less than 18 months is the fastest ramp up in the Indian market.

Moreover, the game-changing potential of Duster SUV is more than evident given that the vehicle has sold 19,000 units in just four months of its launch from July, averaging 5,000 units a month which is not a bad figure considering it is competing against well-entrenched players in this segment.

“We are taking the top-down approach in India. We first showed what Renault is capable of – the brand. In 2011, we had the Fluence, the Koleos and Formula 1 was the icing on the cake. It is not about flooding the market with ads and volumes,” Nassif had reiterated the company’s strategy for India at the Duster launch.

The Frenchman with simple tastes is reflected in the simplicity of his office in Chennai. He relishes Indian cuisine and, especially enjoys tucking into tandoori chicken. Travelling and visiting new cities in the country where he has to consolidate the Renault brand is another of his interests.

Clearly, Nassif plans to make the most of his tenure in India and the recent flag-off of exports for 350 right-hand-drive 2WD and 4WD Dacia brand Dusters to the UK and Ireland from Ennore Port would be another high for him. Renault‘s manufacturing plant that it shares with Nissan at Oragadam, near Chennai, is currently the only facility globally to produce the right-hand- drive Duster that will be sold in the domestic market as well as exported from here, branded as the Dacia Duster.

The carmaker’s growth trajectory in India is quite well enunciated. “We will continue to focus on meeting domestic demand in India, while also exploring new opportunities in exports and in making India the global hub for right-hand- drive vehicles,” says Nassif. Neither does he shirk from any issues in the Renault products, signaling that the company is keen to see a quick resolution of any problem and the smile put back on the customer’s face.

For Renault, India is an important market globally and set to become among one of the top 10 worldwide by 2013. Nassif is, therefore, an important lieutenant for the carmaker, entrusted with an all-pervasive role of converting Renault’s ambitions into reality. That he is well on the path to achieving them cannot be understated.

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