Renault plans to re-enter the midsize SUV segment with “a lot of innovations” as part of its new transformation strategy
Following the recent announcement of an investment of around Rs. 5,300 crore in its domestic operations, Renault India expects to garner good sales volumes next calendar year as new products will come in thick and fast. The French auto major only has the Kwid entry-level hatchback, Kiger compact SUV and Triber budget MPV on sale in the local market currently.
Renault and its alliance partner Nissan are planning to launch a host of new models in the coming years. In a recent interview, Renault India’s Managing Director, Venkatram Mamillapalie, said: “We plan to re-enter the midsize SUV segment at the time. We expect our sales to be at similar levels like last year in 2023 and will start growing next year onwards,”
The brand’s domestic sales volumes saw a decline of 9 per cent on a YoY basis last year as 87,118 units were recorded. It hopes to do similar sales numbers this CY but expects to see an increase in volumes in 2024. The midsize SUV segment is one of the highly competitive in the Indian market but capable of springing high volumes.
Ironically, the Renault Duster was one of the first midsize SUVs to make the segment popular but it is not on sale anymore. The five-seater is expected to make a comeback by the middle of this decade but no official confirmation has been made yet. The midsize SUV segment currently has top-selling models like Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara, Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder, Skoda Kushaq, VW Taigun and MG Astor.
The Honda Elevate and Citroen C3 Aircross will enter the segment in the coming months. Mamillapalle believes that his company will make a strong statement despite being late to the party as he said, “We are trying to enter with the way we entered with Duster. We will enter this segment also with a lot of innovations”
Renault-Nissan announced a while ago that as many as six new models will be launched – three for each brand as two ICE cars and one EV are planned for India. The electric vehicle will likely hit the market in 2025 and it will be positioned aggressively in the volume space. One-fourth of the total sales are expected to come from zero-emission vehicles by 2030.