Renault India to export Kwid, ramp up production

Chennai, Feb 10 (IANS) French automobile maker Renault would start exports of its car Kwid to South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries and the car’s parts to Brazil from March onwards and grow over 100 percent in the domestic market, a top official of the group’s Indian subsidiary said.

The company would sell more than 100,000 units in the domestic market in 2016, launch a revamped Duster model and ramp up production of its car Kwid to 10,000 units next month, he said.

“Currently we are not big exporters of cars. But starting next month we will be exporting Kwid’s parts to Brazil and completely built units (CBU) of the car to SAARC countries. We are also exploring African countries,” Sumit Sawhney, country CEO and managing director, Renault India told reporters here late on Tuesday.

Without putting a number to export target, Sawhney said the company has also opened a parts distribution centre here where auto components are sourced and shipped out to Renault’s other vehicle plants.

According to him car segment priced less than Rs.8 lakh is logging growth for the industry.

On Renault India’s domestic plans Sawhney said the company is on target to have five percent market share by 2017 as the current market share is around four percent.

He said the company will not only expand its distribution network to 240 by 2016 end but also introduce a mobile workshop.

“The mobile workshop will be a proper workshop that can service around six cars a day. Our Lodgy car has been remodelled as a workshop. These vehicles can reach smaller towns for servicing,” he added.

According to him, Renault India has over 100,000 bookings for its Kwid model and is the number two in its segment.

He said Renault India’s customer profile is equally distributed among first time car buyers, those who buy for replacement of their existing cars and also those who want additional car for the family.

“Around 14-15 percent are female buyers who get the vehicles registered in their names,” he added.

Queried about the company’s readiness to have its cars compliant to Bharat Stage VI (BS CI) emission norms by 2020 Sawhney said: “We are capable to meet the norms and are ready.”

According to him, the issue is the availability of quality fuel by 2019 so that vehicle manufacturers can test their engines.

“Cars fitted with Euro IV norms compliant engine can run with fuel used for Euro III engines. But a Euro VI emission norm complaint car can run only when it has the appropriate fuel,” Sawhney added.

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