Renault to focus on safety features
Venkatram Mamillapalle, Country CEO and Managing Director, Renault India Operations, said that the company is not selling volumes; but is selling the safety features.
In recent months, Renault has seen tremendous volume stress in comparison to its competitors. According to the top leadership analysis, the company has not been able to explain to the customer the safety requirements to which it is adapting.
The France-headquartered automotive firm has initiated a global safety campaign in India called 'Human First', highlighting the safety features of its cars.
Venkatram Mamillapalle, Country CEO and Managing Director, Renault India Operations, said, "We are not selling volumes; we are selling the safety features; we are trying to say that the competition car is here; our car is here. And this car has these safety features, and we have these safety features. Our vehicle can protect you and your family far better, and even the pedestrian outside the car, far better than the competition. We're not talking about the competition; we are only focusing on our safety features.”
The development should be seen in the context of recent industry studies suggesting that consumers are increasingly placing a premium on safety features, which is driving the increased emphasis on safety. When buying a personal vehicle, Indian car buyers' preferences and priorities were the focus of a recent survey by NIQ Bases on behalf of Skoda Auto India. The survey, which included 1,000 respondents from ten states in India, revealed that nine out of ten consumers believe that all automobiles in India should be rated for safety.
The demand from customers has been having an impact on OEMs, and several notable advancements have been made in vehicle design, safety features, and crashworthiness as manufacturers and regulatory bodies have acknowledged the significance of prioritising safety. In the recent past, a number of automobile models manufactured by both global and Indian-based OEMs passed the Global NCAP accident tests with a perfect five-star rating.
Renault intends to raise awareness of its safety features through initiatives such as "Showroom on Wheels," which it plans to transport across the country. As the name suggests, the "Showroom on Wheels," which will serve as a mobile extension of Renault's showrooms, will have expert sales personnel present onboard to provide detailed information and assist customers in making informed choices. The "Workshop on Wheels" initiative, on the other hand, will facilitate maintenance and repair of Renault vehicles at the customer's location. Along with these, the company will also provide on-site test drives, bookings, and car finance options, which will provide a one-stop solution for the customers, the company added.
The safety-related communication strategy will act as a tool that will help in making the dealerships profitable, which is very important, Mamillapalle noted. During the fiscal year ending March 2023, Renault registered 79,000 unit sales, approximately 30,000 of which were reportedly sold in smaller towns and cities.
Renault India, a wholly owned subsidiary of Renault S.A.S. France, operates a 480,000-unit-per-year manufacturing facility at Oragadam, Chennai. Renault-Nissan announced a new investment of Rs 5,300 crore in India in February to roll out six new vehicles, including electric vehicles, for domestic and foreign markets.
The company claims to have expanded its physical network infrastructure to more than 450+ sales and 500+ service touchpoints in India under ‘Project Vistaar’, which includes over 230 Workshop on Wheels locations across the country.
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The company has a strong presence in India with eight production sites.