A segment that was clearly dominated by the humble Maruti Suzuki and the Hyundai are finally meeting its match. Renault, the makers of cars whose designs which at first seemed not in taste with liking of the Indian buyers has now unveiled a brand new product The Kwid. The new car is unlike any of the usual designs offered by Renault and judging by its looks, it should spark a new revolution.
Renault is a car manufacturer that recently made its entrance into the Indian market with the help of Mahindra, launching the Logan at first and then splitting to make a stand of its own. Not many of their cars have survived the Indian market conditions but it does have its share of success stories. The Duster for one should rightly be named as the “trump card” for Renault as it gave the company in India better turnover figures. But as many car makers are learning the lesson the hard way, Renault has finally learned it and that is to decode the Indian market jinx, any car maker would have to rely on products that would see in huge numbers. However, that also meant creating a car that would suit the masses and appeal to the taste of the modern Indian. The Renault Kwid has hit the right spot.
Based on Common Module Family platform developed by Renault along with Nissan, The Kwid is the first car to use the platform and has significantly lowered the costs of parts due to the affordability. India was chosen as the stage for globally unveiling the Kwid and from the outside the car looks magnificent. It looks tall and seems higher off the ground due to the cladding along the wheel arches and the front end has a design that is unexpected of Renault but is outstanding and has a refreshed look compared to the Alto or the Hyundai Eon with an aggressive headlamp design and fog lamps on option. The rear has also been done aesthetically and has a tall build to maximize space for passengers. It almost looks like an offspring from the Duster but with a refined look. It's got 13 inch wheels, a roof mounted antenna and sufficient cladding. It has a ground clearance of 180mm and is 3680mm long.
The interiors seem as though they were designed for a segment higher. Renault has given it all by attaching a 7 inch touchscreen with Media and Navigation. Who would have imagined that for the small car segment! The instrument cluster is fully digital and the aircon vents and switches are made for the segment it deserves to be in. Option of driver side air-bags and ample space for the passengers in the back are surely going to invite trouble for the segment leaders. Renault said that the engine will be an 800cc, 3 cylinder engine and will be bringing the AMT version in the years to come.
Renault looks at launching the car during the months of September – October this year and will be priced within Rs 3 – 4 lac (ex-showroom). The car will not be launched in Europe and will not be re badged with a different name either. This is clear evidence on how much the International Auto makers are considering the importance of the Indian market. Localisation levels for this car will be 98% which is the highest in India. Renault finally has come to know of what the common Indian buyer wants and they've created a car that should fit in perfectly. This could be the best offering by Renault and will surely be hoping for a change in the competition.
Will this mark the end of Maruti's dominance?
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