Country CEO and MD of Renault India, Sumit Sawhney
AJ: What is the business target for the company in 2014?
SS: The automobile industry in the country is expected to grow at a pace of around eight per cent in 2014, at Renault, we would like to grow anywhere more than the market growth. At present, we have a market share of 2.6 per cent, in the next three years we target to capture five per cent of the market.
AJ: Previously, you had said that the co is looking ahead to have a product portfolio of around 7-8 different models, now that you have five cars, how do you look ahead? (Duster, Fluence, Koleos, Pulse, Scala)
SS: As a company we would like to enter into segments, which can in turn create sub segments. We will soon be launching the New Fluence in March, which will be followed by the launch of two more cars in 2015. One will be a small car in the sub-4lakh category and for the other one we would disclose facts and figures on a later stage. The new cars will not be products of cross badging and will come out from Renault’s stable. In fact, we will not have cross badging in any of our cars in near future.
AJ: At present, which particular car segment / segments do you think has the highest potential? Plans to explore the segment further, targets?
SS: India will largely remain a small car market. The sub-4lakh category almost controls 45 per cent of the market. Our new car intended for the 2015 launch will hit this segment.
Meanwhile, around 75 per cent of the cars sold in the country are hatchbacks. Renault Pulse is our offering in this segment, which is almost overcrowded with around 13 different models from different automakers.
AJ: Duster is now only available in front wheel drive, any plans to upgrade it to 4X4 drive?
SS: Yes, the 4X4 Duster will hit the roads by the end of this year.
AJ: At present, which are the top two selling models? How much does they contribute to the total sales?
SS: Duster contributes to around 75 per cent of our total sales. After Duster, our second largest volume product is Scala followed by Pulse. Retail-end figures depict that we sell around 500 Scala every month.
AJ: Will Nissan make its own version of the KWID, which was shown in Expo?
SS: It was just a concept, we have no such plans as of now.
AJ: What are the co’s plans in terms of footprint expansion? What is the present capacity of the Oragadam Plant, plans of scaling it up and by when?
SS: We are aggressively looking to widen our customer touch points in the country. We will scale up our sales outlet by 2014-end to 175 from the present 125 and our service outlets to 160 from the present 105, within the same time.
AJ: If you have to point out a couple of points (infrastructure, govt policies…etc), which can trigger the faith of auto industry in the country, what will be those?
SS: Automobile is the engine of economy, so it should get due focus and we need government help in this case. Auto sector drives around 8-10 per cent of the GDP. Despite the recent excise duty relaxation, the auto industry didn’t get the required impetus. The need of the hour are long term policy decisions, which would gear eco-friendly technologies, bring in new fuel efficient technology. A Scrap Policy is very important; in fact we have been in words with the Ministry of Heavy Industries in this regard. Special benefits from the govt for scrapping old cars will give due impetus too. Finally, the complete switch to Euro 4 cars in around 20 cities of the country will definitely change the face of the sector.
Renault Car Features
Country CEO and MD of Renault India, Sumit Sawhney in a candid conversation with autojunction.in, speaks about the company future road map plans, the country auto sector and the government impetus required for the sector.
With over 18 years of experience in the Indian automotive space, Sumit Sawhney brings to Renault India his expertise across multiple functions which include marketing, sales, aftersales and dealer development. He was previously an integral part of General Motors' entry in India and helped build the company's brand and dealer network across the country. In a candid conversation with autojunction.in, Sawhney tells us about Renault India’s future plans and why the Duster is not threatened by competition.
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