Renault India, which recently rolled out its Kwid hatchback with a localisation level of 98 percent, is all set to increase the local content in other models as well.
Next in line is the Duster compact SUV which was launched in July 2012. The SUV saw the launch of a new edition, the Duster Explore last month with the company making 25 different changes in it. The carmaker says the model has seen good traction in the domestic market.
“It is true that when there is a new launch the customer tries to move towards that. The Duster is a very proven car and that is why we are seeing those customers coming back to us. We will continuously keep doing things with the Duster as it is our flagship brand and are increasing the localisation in the Duster to over 80 percent shortly. It is currently in the 70s,” says Sumit Sawhney, country CEO and managing director.
One of the reasons for increasing the indigenisation of the Duster could be its falling sales from 16,216 units between April-August 2014 to 7,560 units in the same period in 2015. In August 2015, sales stood at 1,109 units compared to 3,101 units in August 2014. The Duster has reached volumes of 130,000 units since its launch about three years ago.
Meanwhile, in the Kwid, even critical components like nuts and bolts have been localised. This has facilitated keeping the car price low at Rs 256,968 (ex-showroom price) for the base STD model and even the cost of maintenance is projected to be 19 percent lower than the market leader.
The company’s new models are expected to enable it to achieve a market share of 5 percent by early 2017 from the current 1.9 percent. The carmaker is ramping up its sales and service outlets to 205 by end-2015 from the current 175 outlets and to 280 by end-2016.