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India breaks into top 5 markets for Renault, French co eyes bigger SUV and EVs in future – EQ Mag Pro

India breaks into top 5 markets for Renault, French co eyes bigger SUV and EVs in future – EQ Mag Pro

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Kiger has helped propel the French automaker into the top five global markets, highlighting growing consumer enthusiasm for the high-stance subcompact SUV.

India as a base has progressively risen from 13th in 2018 to 5th in just three years, propelled by the success of Kwid, Triber, and Kiger. Despite a disruption in semiconductor supplies, these models enabled Renault to sell over 1 lakh vehicles in 2021.

India is only behind two major European countries – France and Germany – and two crucial rising markets – Russia and Brazil. The French automaker is now looking to expand into larger and cleaner vehicle segments, which will allow Renault to compete in the fast-growing mid-sized SUV category and electric vehicles in the future years.

Fabrice Cambolive, SVP Renault Brand Sales and Operations, told ET in an exclusive interview that sales revived following the second wave in the nation, assisting in logging levels that propelled India into the top five markets. According to him, the CMF-A plus platform is producing more automobiles (Kwid, Triber, and Kiger) and assisting the brand’s growth. The next phase is to ‘define’ cars that will supplement the current lineup, with Renault aiming to move up to the B and C sectors.

“If you want to grow in India in the future, it has to go in two directions – electrification and the capacity to sell cars in the higher segment,” Cambolive explained. “That is what we are working on right now with our partner (Nissan).” On the electrification strategy, he stated that India is a very significant market for Renault and that the electrification tsunami will affect it. “To be competitive, you need to have 95% localisation. We will be watching Nissan’s study closely (opening a gigafactory). As long as they are advancing on this topic, we will be very interested to follow,” he said. “It will allow us to be fully integrated, which is a key factor behind success in India.”

Cambolive said the proposal to bring in the Kwid EV, which those in the know think has been put on the backburner, “is still being studied.”

India has emerged as a crucial component of Renault’s overseas operations, accounting for 44% of overall revenue. Apart from Kiger’s decent success in India, the new Duster has received a positive response in Russia, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico. The new Duster is also on its way to India, though schedules have not been finalised.

The French automaker has not only progressed up the volume ladder, but has also achieved significant progress in terms of profitability. To be true, Renault India reduced its losses in FY-21 by 86% to Rs 186 crore (US$ 24.9 million), down from over Rs 1,100 crore (US$ 147.3 million) in FY-20. Higher operating leverage and cost reductions aided Kwid’s maker in improving operational performance.

According to Cambolive, Renault’s India team “has done a wonderful job in terms of fixed cost, pricing, and upselling, helping to boost profitability.” “We are looking forward to a brighter future because of India’s excellent performance in terms of profitability.”

Due to a scarcity of semiconductors, the Renault Group has experienced a vehicle shortage of about half a million units. India was impacted near the end of the year, and it is expected to have supply-side issues in the first half of 2022.

“We’re struggling a lot to feed our plant in Chennai again,” Cambolive added.

Concerning the potential impact of the third wave, Cambolive stated that the impact in India has been due to a lack of manufacturing rather than the pandemic.

“People are returning, and demand is high, and we haven’t noticed any impact from Wave 3 yet,” he continued.

Source: ibef

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Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network