Base and Automatic Variants of Scala Discontinued by Renault

The base RxE variant as well as the automatic variants of the Scala has been discontinued by Renault in India. Launched in 2012 with as many as five variant options, now only two options of the Scala are available in the market.

The initial variants on offer included the RxE and RxL with manual transmission, the RxL which came with a CVT Automatic gearbox and two diesel models.

Renault Scala

However, the present line up has one diesel and one petrol option. The petrol engine delivers 98bhp in terms of power as well as 134Nm of torque while the diesel is the 1.5-litre dCi K9K engine that delivers 85bhp of power as well as 200Nm of torque. Both the engines are mated to a five speed manual transmission. The fuel efficiency of the Scala Diesel is pegged at 21.64kmpl while the petrol Scala has a fuel efficiency of 16.95kmpl.

Renault is presently offering discounts of as much as Rs.35000 on the Scala and is trying to keep itself competitive in the C-segment in India. There are many competitors in this category and this includes the Hyundai Verna, Honda City, the Ciaz from Maruti Suzuki and many others. The demand for Scala has seen a considerable decline lately and it is expected that Renault might just have to launch an updated edition of the car very soon in order to keep up with the competition.


Nissan targets Indian Markets for increased exports

It is “Mission India” for Nissan, the auto maker from Japan. Having witnessed the fury of nature through ravaging floods in Thailand that devastated the nation, Nissan is in a bit of a quandary. A manufacturing unit in Thailand heavily contributes to all exports that Nissan does worldwide; the severe floods have meant that the export plans had to be re-evaluated. The automaker now plans to shift focus to India, where they in collaboration with Renault India, have set up a huge manufacturing unit in Chennai.

The capacity of the entire new plant is going to be used by Nissan for handling their complete export to other Asian countries, including the Middle-East. Work in the production plant at Chennai, in which the auto maker has already invested Rs.4,500 crore, is going on at full capacity and the plant has developed the competence of bringing out 4 lakh units a year. The Nissan Micra and the Nissan Sunny are being produced in this very plant. All this information was confirmed to the media by the CEO, Nissan Motor Corporation, Toshiyuki Siga during an interaction with the media at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Nissan Micra

The CEO is highly impressed with the development of this manufacturing unit at Chennai. He also disclosed plans of Nissan to export their small car, the Nissan Micra in the Middle Eastern countries. India has been identified as a center for major development in the future by Nissan. Though the company has R&D facilities at US and China, apart from India, they feel that the Indian unit is more akin to their growth plans. The Tokyo Motor Show has literally been dominated by Nissan, who unveiled four new concept cars at the event. All the electric car models that Nissan has been conceptualizing were displayed during the show and included the much-hyped Nissan Leaf. Apart from that other models, the Townpod and the Nissan Pivo3 were also showcased. A new concept SUV, aimed at carrying forward the Juke lineage, “The Nismo” was also displayed by the company.

Production plant at Chennai

Renault Koleos set to debut along with 2 cars sometime next year in India

Renault is planning something big in India. Like so many International car makers coming into India, Renault’s putting big bets in the Indian car market. With the ongoing recession in the United  States and Europe, car manufacturers are viewing India and of course China as emerging markets along with Brazil and Turkey where the possibilities of sales is much higher than compared to the US or in Europe currently.

Renault’s entry into the car market saw its collaboration with Mahindra when several cars were launched with all bets on Logan to do well, but rather it did fail to capture Indian hearts and overall did poor in sales and fared badly.

One of the reasons perhaps is Renault failing to reach an agreement with Mahindra in partnership and having not arrived at a final decision yet, but as only time can heal petty feuds like these, the companies shouldn’t stop undertaking new ventures, though it’s pretty evident that the same is going on now.

Renault Koleos in IndiaNow, it’s definitely the right time for Renault to keep the past buried and look forward to launching 3 new cars into the car market in India, a market where all the biggies of car manufacturing are viewing as an emerging market. Len Curran, company’s senior official, said Renault’s planning to introduce 3 new cars here sometime in the beginning of next year.

The cars to hit the roads are Duster, a mini SUV; a midsized car and a sedan. In the meantime, the Koleos which is likely to debut into the market may catch people’s attention. Priced at 22.94 lakhs, it’s an easy option for car enthusiasts who believe in great engines and classy interiors.

Curran had earlier told Renault would be launching the Koleos in Kerala as they feel people in Kerala have more cars when compared to other States. They also plan to open dealerships and hope the Koleos would be received well in Kerala.

By 2012, Renault would be launching 3 new cars

A company official says 3 new cars would be launched in Indian auto market by Renault India. This would include the launch of a small car by 2012.

Renault India VP (Marketing & Sales), Len Curran, says the company which is a subsidiary of Renault SAS plans to introduce 3 new cars here in India.

He told the company’s set to launch the small car this year; in the small SUV segment, they would launch ‘Duster‘ in May 2012 or June 2012 and a sedan (mid size) by the end of 2012. With these introductions, Renault hopes to be one among top 3 brands in India.

Curran says since car penetration was highest in Kerala, it was imperative they launch the Koleos there and considers Kerala as an important auto market in India. He says for 1000 people in Kerala, around 40 own cars and feels the average is quite higher compared to other parts in the country.

By 2012 Renault would be launching 3 new carsAt the moment, there are 14 dealership outlets of Renault in India, and the company’s planning to reach a total of 40 by this year end, around 70 dealerships by middle of next year and 100 dealerships by the end of 2012. The Koleos so far has been launched only in India.

N. Krishnamoorthi, President of Dealerships Business, says Kochi has dealerships and service centres of Renault. Besides that, there were plans to open the same at Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode by the end of 2012. Renault India’s also planning to set up facilities in Karnataka (Mangalore), Bhopal and Indore (Madhya Pradesh) in the coming 6 months.

The Koleos’s price is Rs. 22.94 lakhs (ex-showroom price) and is manufactured at Renault’s plant in Chennai. The production capacity at this plant is 50,000 units annually.

Renault India’s Engine Facility in Chennai to be Operational by April

Renault India’s manufacturing plant in Chennai for making engines will begin operations by April 2012. These engines are part of the company”s localisation process for their small new hatchback. This car is scheduled to hit Indian markets in January, and is an India specific car, which not be produced in another market. This car will compete in the same space as VW Polo and Maruti Swift.

According to the company’s VP Marketing and Sales, Len Curran, their engine facility will be launched and operational by April. He added that the facility will have an installed capacity of more than 1,00,000 engines a year.

The forthcoming hatchback from Renault is developed on V-platform and will be available in both diesel and petrol variants. This car will be one among three products that Renault plans to launch next year, marking the start of more serious manufacturing in India.

Their newly launched Fluence sedan and luxury Koleos SUV that is to launch in October are CKD assembled and do not have any local content. Curran said that their next three vehicles will contain at least 65 to 80% local content.

The Fluence sedan has managed to sell around 290 units since it was first launched in the Indian auto market. Curran explained that they are not going for more volumes through this. He added that they are currently trying to build their brand image. Their ambition, in the long term, is to be taken more seriously. They also want to increase their market share to 5%. To achieve this, they will need to offer products across all volume categories.

New Public Affairs & Communications VP for Renault India

French auto company, Renault India recently appointed a new VP for Public Affairs and Communication, as the company is takes a second chance in the Indian auto market. They recently announced the appointment Rajiv Mitra for the aforementioned position, which is effective since July 18, 2011.

According to the company statement, Mitra will replace Ashish Sinharoy, the current VP of Public Relations and Communications, who decided to leave his position to be with his family based in Pune. Mitra earlier worked with Hyundai, before which he was an auto journalist for 12 years which included the posts of columnist, editor, as well as hosts of famous auto shows such as TopSpeed and Wheelocity.

Beginning his career as an auto journalist with Auto India back in 1996, he later on worked with editing auto mags like Bike2Car, Auto Motor and Sport. He also wrote for regular columns as well as edited supplements like Top Gear in the English daily, Hindustan Times. Rajiv Mitra has an MBA from the Clarion University of Pennsylvania in USA, with a marketing major as well as a Masters in Psychology.

Bajaj ULC Not a Priority Till 2012: Says Renault

Renault India recently stated that their ULC project with Bajaj Auto is not their top priority, at least till 2012. Bajaj Auto has not yet revealed the prototype of its ULC car to Renault, in spite of repeatedly receiving requests for it.

The managing director of Renault India, Marc Nassif, said that as they had announced earlier, they will be introducing five cars to their portfolio in the Indian auto market by 2012. This is their priority right now, which does not include the ULC car scheme. He added that they cannot comment on the ULC car scheme as they are yet to see the product. Their focus right now is just the 5 new models they plan to introduce.

The company said that they would be taking a decision regarding the ULC project, once they had reviewed it, adding that it could be a great opportunity for them. Renault plans to sell 90,000 to 1 lakh models by 2013 in India.

Katsumi Nakamura, the company’s leader and VP of the Africa Asia Management, said quoted as saying that they have repeatedly asked Bajaj to let them see the prototype. However, they have only told them to wait further. Renault also said, identifying the country as among their three important global markets following Russia and Brazil, saying that affordable cars would play a key role, and the products, which will be introduced from 2013-2015 will mostly be mass market products.

Renault to Begin Third Shift at Production Plant

The country MD for Renault India, Marc Nassif, said that their car production plant will soon begin its third shift and increase their output to almost double, at 4 lakh models by next year.

During the opening of the company’s new Chennai dealership, Nassif had said that the third shift at their production plant will begin in a few weeks time, increasing output by 2 lakh models per annum. By mid-2012 the second line will be ready to double the company’s production capacity.

The JV of Renault-Nissan will complete their planned INR 4,500 crore investment soon. The JV was offered structured incentives from the state government of Tamil Nadu for making huge investments in the auto sector will beat their 2015 deadline of investments in two years at least, according to Nassif.

They will introduce three new models by next year, so that their portfolio includes 5 models, including the Koleos, a 4X4 SUV that will be introduced this year, reaching sales of 100,000 units per annum by 2013. To reach this goal, they will have around 100 dealer outlets in India by next year end. Currently the company has 12 dealer outlets that will increase to 40 dealer outlets by 2011 end.

The deputy country MD for Renault Group, Sudhir Rao, said regarding Renault being their first choice to enter India, the feature packed and stylish Fluence showcases Renault’s missing face in the Indian auto market. This will help to correct the ‘plain Jane’ perception created earlier with the launch of their Logan, which did not do well in the market. He added that by 2012, with other models being launched by Renault in India, they will occupy a better position in the market.

So far, the Fluence is available in India is a petrol variant at INR 14.40 lakhs, and the diesel variant for INR 12.99 lakhs. They also changed the trend in the market by offering their diesel variant cheaper than their petrol variant. The diesel variant also has fewer features, as they believe people looking at a low ownership cost, will prefer to economise their purchase.

Renault India Intends to Increase its Market Share to 2.5% by 2013

French car manufacturer, Renault which recently launched their new Fluence model in India, said that they aim to increase their market share in the passenger auto segment to 2.5% by 2013, and in the long-term to 5%.

The company VP of Marketing and Sales, Len Curran, said that by 2013, they hope to increase their market share to 2.5%, and to 5% in long term. Curran also added that they will be adding 5 more models to their portfolio in India this year and the next, one of which is a hatchback model. He added that they are eyeing the LCV segment in India.

Renault India, a JV of the Nissan and Renault alliance, had opened a Rs.4500 crore plant in Chennai. Curran said that the company is also looking forward to exporting to other right-hand drive auto countries from India. The company currently has the second highest market share in the European auto market, and globally the third highest following GM and Toyota.