Renault HBC will sit on the CMF-A platform with heavy local content and is expected to be offered in both manual and AMT transmission options
Renault India has the Kwid as its successful mass-market model for years and due to its fall in sales volume, it definitely needs a company to revitalise numbers. The Triber scheduled to go on sale in a couple of months time is a brand new India-specific MPV that has been a long time coming and it appears that Renault has more in the pipeline.
For any volume-based manufacturer in India, it is pivotal to have a strong presence in the sub-four-metre space. The compact SUV segment has been all the rage in recent past and the competition is steadily growing as Maruti Suzuki, Tata, Mahindra and Ford are vying for spotlight with Hyundai being the new addition with Venue.
The French automaker does not want to be left behind either and is developing what has been codenamed HBC. Just at the Triber, it will sit on the heavily localised CMF-A platform and we expect it to make up for the continuous delay of the brand’s second generation Duster.
It is one of the four products waiting in the wings under Drive The Future strategy. It will definitely be positioned below the Duster, which has seen several price cuts in recent times. The pricing of the HBC should be interesting as the Triber will slot in the Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 8 lakh (ex-showroom) price bracket.
Perhaps Renault might target the starting price of Tata Nexon at around Rs. 6.5 lakh or even lesser? We do not have any answers yet! One thing for sure is that the HBC will be priced aggressively courtesy of high local content and it could act as an upgrade for Kwid’s customers in the domestic market.
Renault definitely needs to find a niche factor if it wants to succeed in the sub-four-metre SUV segment. The HBC is expected to go on sale sometime next year – presumably after the implementation of BSVI emission norms by April 2020. It will likely be powered by an uprated version of the 1.0-litre turbocharged engine that also does duty in Kwid.
Both five-speed manual and five-speed AMT transmissions should help in the HBC having an expansive range covering wide band of buyers.