French auto major Renault has embarked on a new strategy to significantly grow its light commercial vehicle (LCV) business. One of the pillars of the strategy is new markets. And India could be a new market for Renault's LCV business, though not immediately.
Speaking to Autocar Professional, Ashwani Gupta, VP, global head - LCV business, Renault, said that the company is closely monitoring the Indian LCV market. He was speaking after the global unveil of Renault's first 1-tonne pickup truck concept called Alaskan. It will go into production during the first half of 2016. The Alaskan is shown three months after Renault launched the Duster Oroch, a 0.5-tonne twin cab pickup truck.
The Oroch, which is based on Renault's best seller SUV Duster, will be considered for India. Renault says that the current composition of the Indian LCV market may not make it viable for it to enter. But it will be attractive as the market matures and customers move to products of higher value with better total cost of ownership (TCO).
The Indian pickup truck market is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. Japanese auto major Isuzu expects the Indian pickup truck market to see annual sales volume of 10-15 million in less than 10 years from now. The company launched its D-Max 1-tonner pickup truck in India to tap that potential. Another one is expected to be added next year.
Renault, the leader in the European LCV market, wants to move from being a leading regional player and grow to be a top global player in the LCV industry. The company is strongly focusing on pickup truck segment, which contributes to 40% of global LCV sales. The Asia-Pacific region will play an important role in this strategy. Before India becomes attractive, markets like Thailand and Australia will see launches by Renault in the LCV space.