Renault Kwid was given a facelift in August 2018 but it could not do much in improving the sales figures as statistics suggested
Renault summoned its position as a serious contender in the Indian market with the Duster SUV but it took the French company until 2015 to spring up a genuine volume grabber. The Kwid small hatchback entered the vastly crowded entry-level space to instigate a surprise and it was a bold attempt that really paid off for Renault to increase its market share.
Positioned right up against a slew of Maruti Suzuki small cars that contributed to the brand becoming largest auto manufacturer in the country in the first place with over 50 percent market share, the Kwid had a number of tricks up its armoury. With high level of local content, Renault managed to price the Kwid aggressively with a long list of segment-first features.
Its SUV-ish exterior was another point of approval among customers as the Kwid continued to average 9,000 unit sales after gaining momentum. Renault did make moves to keep the Kwid fresh and alive, as a number of special and anniversary limited models came along the way but it had to face a familiar fate as some of the models did previously.
Since the segment had more and more untapped potential, carmakers started exploring ways to garner volumes and in came new rivals like Tata Tiago with a better package and safety in a highly affordable price bracket. While Maruti Suzuki expanded its premium offerings, Renault could not do much about it and instead stuck by its guns and tried to make the Kwid better.
The consistent drop in sales was expected to be alleviated by the recently introduced facelift. It received revised front grille with chrome touches, updated graphics on the side door moulding, 12V charging socket for rear occupants integrated into the parcel shelf holder, optional seven-inch Media NAV touchscreen infotainment system and chrome garnished door handles.
But it could not stop Kwid from enduring YoY sales dip as we have listed in the cover picture over the last several months. With more competition like the new Hyundai Santro arriving and the micro-SUV segment being evaluated for a large volume push, Renault could make big changes to the next generation Kwid with bigger footprint, improved interior quality and most importantly safety to make a much-needed comeback.