Renault, the French automaker is planning to introduce a small car is in India by 2015. The automaker has decided not to cross-badge vehicles with partner Nissan but build its own models in the utility and small car segments. Selling or marketing the same vehicle with cosmetic changes under different brand names is called cross-badging. Sumit Sawhney, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director at Renault India said the company was working on a small car based on the common module family platform. The vehicle will be placed below Pulse hatchback. “India would continue to remain a small car market. Around half of the cars marketed are in the sub Rs. 4-lakh segments. How can any automobile company stay out of this class?” Sawhney said. The automaker is betting on the small car and another utility vehicle, to be launched by next year, to drive sales. It now sells 5 models in India.
Mr. Sumit said as compared to Renault Scalia, Renault Duster and Renault Pulse, which had similarities with Nissan Sunny, Nissan Terrano and Nissan Micra, the forthcoming models would have a unique identity. The purpose of cross badging was to initially build up the volume and establish the brand,” he said. He said the automaker, which sold approximately 64,000 models in 2013, planned to raise its market share to 5% from around 2% within 3 years. The company is also planning to increase its domestic network to 175 dealerships from 125 now. Sumit said we are looking to augment our dealer network to 175 by the end of this year, adding that dealerships are being planned in Aizawl (Mizoram), Shillong, Dibrugarh and Jorhat. He said the excise duty cut on sports utility vehicles and small cars, announced in the interim budget, was yet to translate into robust sales.