Renault plans to launch two new models this year including the Lodgy MPV and XBA entry-level hatchback with the latter being the company’s cheapest offering globally.
Almost three years since its Duster went on sale in the country, Renault has become a recognisable name in India with the compact SUV playing a dominant role in the automaker’s success post its termination of partnership with Mahindra. Nonetheless, the French automaker has been one of the few international automakers that managed to make it big in a very short span of time and is now looking forward to aggressively take charge of the more volume productive segments with the new XBA hatchback in the works, to be its cheapest and most affordable offering in the world.
While Renault retails a host of small cars in other markets, a cost effective small car solution is needed for emerging markets like ours and this is where the XBA (codename) comes into picture. In a recent statement, the automaker confirmed that the XBA will be priced under Rs. 4 lakhs, making it the company’s cheapest vehicle on sale globally as it competes against the Maruti Wagon R and the likes in the segment. To be based on the low-cost CMF-A platform developed under the Renault-Nissan alliance, the XBA will see extensive amounts of localisation to keep costs under check, while power will come from a new 800cc BR-Series petrol engine which is under development.
Sharing several characteristics with the Datsun Redi-GO concept showcased at the Auto Expo last year, the Renault XBA will be a key volume driver for the company. Unlike Nissan though, Renault will be using its own branding for the hatch giving it a rather premium feel. While the company did state that it will continue to offer the most enhanced safety features on its vehicles in India, it needs to be seen if Renault has actually gone back to the drawing board to make some changes for improved structural integrity along with addition of airbags and ABS.
Apart from the XBA, Renault also plans to launch the Lodgy MPV this year that was teased last month. The Lodgy MPV will be the second major launch for the automaker bringing in volumes against the Honda Mobilio, Toyota Innova, Maruti Ertiga and the likes in the segment. In addition, the automaker plans to enhance accessibility to the brand across the country, especially in Tier II and IV markets as the sales and service network will be increased to 205 outlets from the current 157 by the end of 2015.
Source – The Hindu