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Building on success of Kwid and Duster is Renault’s key focus for 2018

The brand, currently the seventh largest player in the country, intends to keep selling over one lakh cars every year to keep the growth momentum going

(L-R) Sumit Sawhney and Abhishek Maheshwari

The French automobile company, Renault, has risen among the ranks quite quickly to become the seventh largest player in the country. Kwid, their latest and most successful offering in the small car segment, is now among the top 10 selling cars of India. With Kwid, launched in 2015,Renault managed to do something that many experienced hands in the business are still struggling to achieve.

A relatively new name in the game, Renault really made a mark in the Indian automobile segment with the launch of Duster in the year 2012. With the launch of Kwid, the brand secured its position as one of the fastest growing automobile brands in the country.

Whilethe sales of both Kwid and Duster have seen a slowdown in recent times, Sumit Sawhney, Country CEO and Managing Director, Renault India Operations, is optimistic about the future and intends to keep their growth momentum going in this year as well.

“In 2018, we have to make sure that we consistently deliver. Today, we are the seventh largest player in the country and the number one European brand. We have to sell over one lakh cars every year. We have been doing the same for the last two years and this year also we must do that. Even though we are the youngest brand, we must strengthen the company step by step. It is true that we have achieved a lot in a short time and we want to ensure that we continue achieving in the coming years. So, building a strong runway for the future is our key focus in 2018,” said Sawhney.

Sawhney said the brand will expand its presence in the country by adding more dealership outlets in places where they aren’t present as of now. The brand already has 350 dealership facilities in the country, including tier II and III markets. The company that started with a modest 14 outlets in 2011 added 50 more in 2017.

“Right now, we have 350 outlets and there will be growth wherever it is required. Today, we have been able to reach most parts of the country and that was very critical to us. Going forward, we will be expanding to places where we are not there but not to the tune with which we have done expansion till now. We are exploring areas where we are not there, so we are looking to expand our width. We are also adding more outlets in cities where there are a limited number of outlets, so we are expanding in depth too,” said Sawhney.

WhileSawhney agrees that they have done well so far, he also acknowledges the fact that Renault is a growing brand and still in the portfolio development stage.

In a bid to build on the Kwid success story and bring some innovation to their offering, the brand recently partnered with Marvel to launch the Kwid Super Hero Edition.

The Kwid Super Hero Edition has been designed and developed by Renault’s design studios in Mumbai and Chennai and is inspired by strong and sturdy appearance of the iconic Marvel Super Heroes – Iron Man and Captain America.

The Kwid Super Hero Editionwill be available over the top-end 1.0L RXT (O) variant in manual transmission and automated manual transmission, with two colour-themed versions. The Renault Kwid Captain America inspired edition will be available in exclusive white shade with Captain America’s iconic shield and suit theme and the Renault Kwid Iron Man inspired edition will be available in exclusive red shade with Iron Man’s arc reactor and armour theme.

Speaking about these new offerings, Sawhney said, “The whole idea was to bring some innovation. We wanted to give something different and unique to the Indian customer. Through this, our consumer-centric approach takes the next step by exceeding customer expectations through innovation, design and quality.”

With the release of Avengers: Infinity War in the horizon, this is also a good opportunity for Marvel to create some conversation around the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its beloved heroes.

“Marvel’s Iron Man and Captain America are among the most-loved super heroes in India today. At Disney, we are constantly seeking fun new ways to make these beloved characters a part of the everyday lives of fans everywhere. With Renault Kwid Super Hero Edition, fans will now be able to take this Marvel experience everywhere,” said Abhishek Maheshwari, Country Head, Disney India.

The super hero edition will be exclusively available on Elaborating on the decision, Sawhney said, “The numbers are extremely limited. When you do things like this the risk is that you might end up charging too much money. We are charging just Rs 29,900. So, the numbers are very limited and it is on a first come, first serve basis.”

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