Renault India managing director Marc Nassif with the car
FRENCH carmaker Renault said on Tuesday (April 3) it hopes to increase its India auto sales 20-fold this year as it fights to gain a foothold in the country’s vast car market.
The company, which made a belated entry in the Indian market, sold 1,500 cars last year and “we want to multiply that by 20 by December,” Renault India managing director Marc Nassif said in New Delhi.
In 2010, Renault abandoned its previous attempt to crack the Indian market - a tie-up with India’s top sports utility vehicle maker Mahindra and Mahindra.
Renault India is now going solo and attacking the market from the top down, launching in the premium segment even though most car sales are in the small segment.
“We’re late, but not too late,” said Nassif, speaking at the launch of the $30,000 (£18869.83) diesel version of its premium executive sedan Fluence it began selling last year in India.
The Fluence joins Renault counterparts the Koleos, a high-end sports utility vehicle and the premium compact Pulse on Indian roads. The automaker plans to launch two more cars this year.
“We’re coming to India on the fast track with our five car launches in 15 months,” said Nassif.
The Indian market is overwhelmingly dominated by the Japanese-controlled group Maruti Suzuki while other foreign auto makers such as GM and Toyota have also established a strong presence in the country of 1.2 billion people.
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