Renault’s upcoming small car will be launched below the Rs. 4 lakh mark and will help the company realise its dream of becoming a mass market player in the country. Underpinned by the low cost CMF-A platform, Nissan will also use the platform for its I2 small car to be sold under the Datsun brand.
While Renault may have a rather complete lineup in Asia with five products spread across different segments, the company is primarily thriving on the success of the Duster, while other models manage to scrape in less than average numbers. With a vision to make a significant place in the Asian auto sector, the company is now eyeing the mass market hatchback segment and will launch its new low cost hatchback to rival products from Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai in the sub Rs. 4 lakh space that will help the automaker grow its market share from the current 2 percent to 5 percent in the next 2-3 years.
Codenamed XBA, the new small car from Renault will be based on the low cost CMF-A platform, which will also be used by Nissan for the I2 small car that will be sold under the Datsun brand. The new platform was especially designed for budget products to be sold in emerging markets across the world. The company stated that the small car will be a global product but Asia will be among the first major markets to get the car that will be competing against the Maruti Wagon R, Hyundai i10 and the likes in the segment. It will also be Datsun’s second hatchback in Asia after the GO.
Renault further stated that the Lodgy MPV is another product headed to Asia in the mid-sized MPV segment competing against the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and the newly launched Honda Mobilio. With both segments being high-volume generators, the French automaker is working on improving localisation, volume, image and profitability in order to be a major player. The company also increased its production capacity from 4 lakhs to 4.8 lakhs per annum at the Renault-Nissan alliance production plant to meet local demand. However, the company needs to build its dealership network to gain volumes in the country and aims to have 175 dealers by March 2015 from the 125 dealers at the beginning of the financial year.