Renault Embarks on Challenging Times with Kwid’s Instant success as it reportedly registered 70,000 bookings but only 6000+ units delivered in November
Renault Kwid entry-level hatchback has arguably been the French car major’s phenomenal success in the value-conscious Indian market since it commenced sales operations back in 2011. The global hatchback has been built on Renault’s CMF-A platform and has proportions and features to sneak beyond its segment with potential customers leaning towards Maruti Celerio and Hyundai i10 hatchbacks would take moment to assess Kwid as their prominent option.
Kwid competes in a segment that few manufacturers would dare to introduce a product in as it’s a commonly known fact that if your product bangs in sales numbers from the outset you reap enormous benefits but if doesn’t you’re slumping all the way to the bottom and can never recover. The gallantry of going up against the benchmark rivals Maruti Alto and Hyundai Eon in the first time buyer’s entry-level segment deserves all the worthy praise for Renault but has it backfired?
This segment holds a major share of 26% of the total vehicle sales in the market according to a recent report between April and October at a growth of 0.29%. Whilst Maruti Suzuki Alto sales has been uninterrupted, Renault Kwid’s arrival in late September led to the segment expanding further with it reportedly rounding 10% of the entry-level market share.
Customer orders crossed over 50,000 in less than a month of its launch and now reported to have received about 70,000 bookings. Last month, November, accounted for a stellar increase in sales when compared to the corresponding month in 2014 as Renault registered a growth of 144% by retailing 7,819 units against 3,201 units.
Renault Kwid’s approximate monthly sales number of 6,000 units would have played a pivotal role in such a mighty heave as the other 2015 launched product, the Lodgy SUV, has been sold on a below par 300 units per month lately. The French manufacturer’s Indian arm has been relying heavily on Kwid and Lodgy to attain 5% share in the domestic market within the next couple of years.
However, with Kwid’s overwhelming popularity, Renault is struggling to keep the waiting period down as in some cities it has been extended up to six months. With the ever upward curve in total bookings, Renault has decided to ramp up its monthly production to 7,000 units but is it enough to meet the demands and keep the buyer’s patience in check before delivering the product?
Renault Kwid’s target customers are first time buyers from urban and sub-urban territories in various parts of the country. Although Renault is planning to increase its dealerships by 240 from current 190 outlets across India before the end of 2016, how will the cards be played out if Kwid’s attractive price tag between 2.57 and 3.53 lakh lures in more orders? Moreover, Renault seems to have plans to bring in a slightly more powerful 1.0 petrol engine for Kwid in 2016 with an automatic variant about to be introduced in the Duster Facelift next year also speculated to make its appearance in the small hatchback.
If Renault can’t meet the growing production demands for Kwid, will the powerful petrol and AMT get nod from the French manufacturer? All these questions will be answered in the coming months as Renault desperately embarks on a mission to preserve the growing band of customers and let alone strives to deliver the already booked Kwid hatchbacks in the promised time period.