French car major Renault is plotting a new move to enhance its position in the bottom part of the Indian car market where it tasted success with the Kwid hatchback launched a little over two years ago.
A single model in the segment may not be good enough for sustainable growth. The 20 percent year-on-year drop in the Kwid's sales during the April-October 2017 period could indicate that. Therefore, two more are in the works. First would be a seven-seater sibling of the Kwid, aimed at garnering more customers, most of whom could be first-time car buyers. This model, based on the CMF-A+ platform (a little bigger version of the CMF-A platform) is set to arrive "soon" in the market.
Seven-seater Kwid sibling will be based on the CMF-A+ platform, a slightly bigger version of the CMF-A platform.
Speaking to Autocar Professional, Gérard Detourbet, Alliance Managing Director, Alliance A-Segment development unit, says, "It's clear that we did not create the platform (CMF-A) only for one car. On each platform we can develop a lot of things. Not only because we can use different type of bodies but also because we have a lot of possible branding."
The seven-seater vehicle (codenamed RBC) will be followed by another one on the same platform over a period of time. "Yes, we will have more than one model (on the CMF-A+ platform) at the end," says Detourbet. The CMF-A+ platform is a "normal" platform and six to seven different body types can be based on a single platform. It's not known whether Renault will do it for the CMF-A+ platform.
Nissan, Renault's Alliance partner, could also develop a model on the CMF-A+ platform like it did on the CMF-A with the Redigo, but it may "not necessarily be a seven-seater".
Detourbet, also known as the 'father of the Kwid', is pleased to see his pet project making inroads into new markets. Brazil became the second manufacturing base for the Kwid. Renault expects the Kwid's sales volumes in South America to be similar to that in India. The Kwid in Brazil has a different structural and safety features specification than India in order to meet the safety regulations of that country. Chile, Peru and Mexico are some other markets where the Kwid is aimed for.
In India, the Kwid has sold a little over 203,000 units till end-October, since its launch little over two years ago. During the April-October 2017 period, the Kwid sold 52,893 units, 20 percent lower than the same seven-month period last year. The new offering on the modified CMF-A platform will be crucial to ramp up volumes for Renault in the A/A+segment and also to support the viability of Renault India’s dealership network.
Also read: Renault still bullish on India's tough MPV market