Renault India will commence exports of its Kwid hatchback in March 2016 when it starts shipments of the car to Sri Lanka next month. The island country is among the first international markets to get the Kwid and would be followed by other SAARC markets like Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
Speaking to Autocar Professional at the sidelines of the Make in India Week in Mumbai today, Sumit Sawhney, MD, Renault India, said: "After receiving a great response for the Kwid here, we are now planning to aggressively export the car to other international markets. We will export to the SAARC markets first, starting with Sri Lanka."
Commenting on the huge potential that Renault sees for the Kwid in the SAARC region, Sawhney said that though initial volumes would be low given the current duty structures, these markets would emerge as big volume drivers in the future.
"The way I see SAARC is today it is an opportunity and tomorrow volumes. At present, the Sri Lankan market has volumes of around 60,000-70,000 a month, but the tax regime now results in large imports of a lot of used cars and it is a dumping ground of sorts for a lot of countries. But going forward, this is going to change and volumes will eventually rise, so it is a big opportunity," Sawhney said.
Apart from the SAARC region, Renault would be exporting the Kwid to Brazil and other parts of Latin America. The other market which would get the Kwid this year is Africa, added Sawhney.
Based on the CMF-A platform and developed by the Renault-Nissan Alliance, the Kwid is set to become quite an example of Make in India for the world, with localisation levels of over 98% and will be shipped as completely built units to the SAARC region, while it would reach the Latin American and African shores in CKD form.
"With such high levels of localisation, the decision to export the Kwid provides a lot of opportunities for our suppliers as well, as spares and kits come in the picture," Sawhney said.
Reiterating the company's plan to ramp up the Kwid's production, Sawhney said that Renault India would increase production to 10,000 units by March 2016 and bring down the current waiting period by almost 35-40%. The current average waiting period for the Kwid in the domestic market is around 4-5 months depending on variants.