MUMBAI: Riding on the success of multi-purpose vehicle Triber in India, French car maker Renault is hoping to break into top three of the country’s highly competitive sub-compact SUV segment with its new offering Kiger.

With the incremental volumes from the Kiger, Renault hopes to break into the group top-five vehicle makers in the country in the coming two years.

Priced at Rs 5.45 lakh to Rs 9.55 lakh ex-showroom, Kiger will take on already established players

Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet, Tata Nexon and Nissan Magnite, among others.

About 335,000 units of sub-4 metre SUVs were sold in India in 2020, accounting for 14% of the total passenger vehicle market, in what is the most fiercely fought segment of the market with about 11 offerings.

“It is the most intensely fought segment, but we think we have best value and we are confident of carving out numbers for the brand,” Venkatram Mamillapalle, MD of Renault India, told ET. “Our aspiration is to be among the top-3 sellers in the space. A minimum 5,000 units is what we can sell, but we will be gunning for 6,000 to 7,000 units in a month.”

Having broken into the top seven markets globally, Renault is confident of crossing 100,000 units in sales in India in 2021, Mamillapalle said, adding that a plan to attain sales of 200,000 units may fructify only by 2023.

Renault India closed 2020 with sales of 80,000 units, ranking 6th in volume and a market share of 3.3%. Mamillapalle said he wants to break into the group of top-five car makers in India in the coming two years.

Mamillapalle said the company is focused on reaching out to more number of buyers and “it wants to go wide in urban and deep in rural”.

Renault will be adding over 100 outlets in 2021; this is after bringing in 120 new outlets in 2020. The share of rural sales already accounts for over a third of the company’s volumes. It is hoping to accelerate the same in the coming years.

On the ongoing semiconductor shortage, Mamillapalle said the company has secured supplies for the next couple of weeks and there is no visibility beyond that, but the situation is improving.

As for the potential impact on Kiger due to shortage, he said, “It’s a new model, so it will definitely get priority. But the situation is quite dynamic, with supply scenario visibility constantly changing every week. So far we are good, what next after two weeks of supplies are used up, we will only know in another week.”

Built on the CMF-A + platform of Renault Nissan Alliance, the French carmaker’s sibling Nissan Magnite has already received about 50,000 bookings, with the incremental volumes coming from Kiger, Mamillapalle is confident of capacity utilisation going up and thereby helping the company bring down the cost per unit through scale benefit.

Renault will be exporting the Kiger to South Africa and Indonesia, apart from the Saarc countries. Mamillapalle said the company is also exploring the possibility of developing a left-hand drive version of the Kiger.

With a focus on reducing the cost, Renault India is hoping to break-even in the next couple of years.

As for the future product excitement, the head of Renault India said there will be a series of facelifts and variants on the existing CMF-A and CMF-A+ architectures and already the work on CMF-B platform cars is going on at HQ, which can be quickly brought into India.

“Before I start asking for new cars, I need to deliver on profits. We are on a good path; Kiger should accelerate that further,” Mamillapalle said.

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