Aiming to capture 5 percent of Indian automobile market share in the next two years, Renault has confirmed that its entry-level small car is scheduled for a 2015 launch. The French automaker recently stated that it is betting big on its new set of products to capture more volumes, the vehicles will be launched in 2015 and includes the Lodgy MPV as well as a small car. To be possibly called as the Renault XBA, the new small car will be competing in the hotly contested A-segment hatchback space against the Maruti Alto, Hyundai Eon, Datsun GO and the likes in the segment.
Coming to the details on the new entry-level hatchback, the small car will be based on the low-cost CMF-A platform that has been developed in collaboration with Nissan and could take design traits from the Redi-GO concept that was showcased at the 2014 Auto Expo, earlier this year. Similar to its rivals, the small car will be powered by a 800-900cc engine, paired to a 5-speed manual transmission offering adequate power, while importance will be given to fuel economy. The small car is not expected to exceed the Rs. 4.5 lakh mark, much like the Datsun GO.
The new small car is very important for Renault India as the company does not have too many products to rely on. Apart from the Duster, no other product from Renault has been able to bring in volumes and the automaker heavily needs a new strategy and product range, if it wants to survive for the long term in the market. The entry-level hatchback could most easily serve this purpose with even half of the sales that the Alto manages in the same segment. The small car will be produced at the Renault-Nissan facility near Chennai and the automaker has also freed up space to accommodate the new small car.
Renault is also working on expanding its dealer network across the country and launched a new dealership in Kerala recently. The automaker plans to open 175 dealerships across the country by this year, with 45 outlets reserved for South India. The company is also betting on the festive season to push out more products with new offers and schemes including free insurance and other gifts. The automaker currently retails 5 models including the Pulse, Scala, Duster, Fluence and Koleos across different segments in the country and will take the count to seven next year.