Made-in-India Renault Kwid completes epic 18,996km, 13-country, Delhi-to-Paris drive

Starting from the iconic India Gate, the Kwid took on snow-filled roads, sub-zero temperatures, heavy rains, floods, and even places without traversable roads successfully.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 22 Dec 2016 Views icon11935 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Dr Mohan Kumar, ambassador of India in France and Sumit Sawhney, Country CEO & MD, Renault India

Dr Mohan Kumar, ambassador of India in France and Sumit Sawhney, Country CEO & MD, Renault India

A manufactured-in-Chennai Renault Kwid hatchback has successfully completed a tough-as-nails drive from India’s capital city to the French capital of Paris. This constitutes a total distance of 18,996 kilometres across 13 countries over 45 days.  

Organised to celebrate the first anniversary of Renault’s made-in-India Kwid, the drive began from the iconic India Gate, at a temperature of 25deg C, and traversed regions where temperatures plunged to -25deg C. The game-changing hatchback, which has sold nearly 115,000 units in India since its launch in September 2015, was driven through Myanmar, China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Belgium, until it finally entered France.

The intrepid 45-day drive saw the Kwid negotiate a number of challenges in the form of snow-filled roads, sub-zero temperatures, monsoons with heavy rains and floods and places without traversable roads. But the Kwid handled it all, even managing a top speed of 174kph on the German autobahns.

Sumit Sawhney, Country CEO and MD, Renault India Operations pictured with the Kwid at India Gate at the beginning of the drive and at Eiffel Tower at the end of the 45-day drive.

Speaking on the Kwid’s epic drive, Sumit Sawhney, country CEO and managing director, Renault India Operations, said, “The Renault Kwid is one of the biggest ‘Make in India’ success stories out of India in the small car segment, making Renault one of the fastest growing automotive brands in India. Renault has already started exports of the Kwid to SAARC and African countries, taking the excellence of Indian manufacturing and engineering to the world. The Delhi-Paris drive was conceptualised to celebrate the success of this car and to highlight its superiority and reliability, testing it in the most challenging driving conditions. Such drives are usually done with much bigger and more powerful cars, but the Kwid has once again proven that it truly is a game-changer and a car of global repute.” 

“Our roadmap for India is very clear and we have a long term commitment to this market. Together with our product portfolio expansion strategy, as is reinforced by strengthening the Kwid portfolio, we are also significantly increasing our sales and network reach in India. These efforts are matched by a clear strategy to enhance the customer brand experience, with several unique and pioneering initiatives already underway to ensure that customers’ have an unparalleled experience with the Renault brand,” added Sawhney.

Autocar India’s Rahul Kakkar, who led the expert team of drivers, writers and cameramen on this mammoth drive, said: “We were confident of completing the drive. However, there was definite apprehension considering we were to cover a massive distance of 19,000 kilometres! The Kwid is an entry level hatchback, and such cars are more suited for city commutes, designed for Indian conditions, and not freezing cold weather. However, the Kwid came out trumps in the most challenging conditions, and there was not even a puncture through the drive. The car reached Paris in pristine condition."

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