Renault entered the Indian market in association with Mahindra and launched the Logan sedan. While the Logan found only a limited number of private buyers, it managed to win the hearts of radio taxi providers. After a while, Mahindra and Renault decided to call it quits and then the French automaker was on its own in the market. Renault offered the Pulse hatchback and Koleos SUV, both of which failed to generate a good amount of sales. The company then went on to launch the Fluence sedan, Duster compact SUV and the Scala sedan.
The Renault Fluence too found it difficult to find many homes since it competed with the Toyota Corolla Altis and Honda Civic at the time of launch. The Scala, which is a rebadged version of the Sunny, initially found some buyers but sales went down. A hefty premium that the Scala commanded over the Sunny made matters worse. The Duster is the only product which Renault has been able to sell well in the Indian market. The Duster created a storm when it was launched since it was the first proper compact SUV that our market saw. The Duster did not have any real competitors at that time and it indirectly fought it out with the Mahindra Scorpio and Tata Safari.
As of now, the Duster is the only product from the French stable that decently manages to bring in sales. Other vehicles seem to be there just for namesake since they sell in minuscule numbers in comparison to what rivals sell. The Pulse has nothing going for it and it holds no candle against the Maruti Swift, Hyundai i20 and Volkswagen Polo. The Scala is a decent product but then people prefer buying the Honda City or Hyundai Verna at that price point. The Fluence is a very good package but again it loses out against the Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla Altis and even the Skoda Octavia because of few features at a high price. The Koleos, well it competes with the Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota Fortuner, enough said.
So why do Renault cars don’t sell well? Renault does not have a very high brand visibility in India. Earlier it was almost negligible but after the Duster was launched, the company did manage to create some buzz. Still, its dealer network does not come close to rivals. Long-term ownership costs of most Renault vehicles remain an unknown territory since very few people buy them. In this over-competitive market, every manufacturer is doing every possible thing to please customers and make their products sell. Renault definitely needs to come up with a fresh strategy to market themselves as well as their vehicles.
Renault India July 2014 Sales –
* Duster – 2821 units
* Fluence – 10 units
* Koleos – 2 units
* Pulse – 93 units
* Scala – 89 units