Renault’s hunt for volumes will see it launch two mass market products in 2015 in two very different segments. The company has been relying solely on the Duster till now.
Renault entered India with a slew of products but found success in only one, the Duster. The popularity of this re-badged Dacia vehicle has made them go bullish on the Indian market and the French automaker plans to boost its market share from just 2% right now to 5% by 2017. To increase volumes, Renault is all set to launch the XBA hatchback which will go on sale before the much delayed Lodgy MPV. The Lodgy is another re-badged Dacia and a cheap car in all countries it is sold but will be positioned differently in India.
The upcoming Renault small car (codenamed XBA) will be priced under the Rs. 4 lakh bracket and will rival popular hatchbacks including the Maruti Wagon R and Hyundai i10. The XBA is a global product but will first debut in India (by March 2015) as it is one of the biggest markets for the said car. Localisation levels will be extremely high to keep costs under control. To be underpinned by Renault-Nissan’s CMF-A platform, the XBA will draw power from the same 1.2-litre petrol engine which does duty on the Datsun GO and soon to be launched GO+ MPV.
It will be interesting to see how the Renault XBA is received in the Indian market as the Datsun GO has failed to make as big an impact as the Japanese automaker expected. With car safety coming under the scanner, it remains to be seen how Renault equips the vehicle as offering ABS and airbags can soar the asking price of the vehicle. With a production capacity of 4.8 lakh units per annum at the Renault-Nissan facility in Chennai, the Diamond logo car maker has plenty of capacity on offer as it has curbed Duster exports to address domestic market demand.