French auto major Renault on Tuesday announced a leadership change in its Indian operations with Venkatram Mamillapalle set to take charge from current Managing Director and Head, Sumit Sawhney. The change will be effective from March 1.
Under Sawhney, who will be moving to a new position within the group, Renault scripted a success story with the Kwid brand shaking up the affordable small car market of India. Owing to its SUV-ish design and localisation drive, 98 per cent of its components are made in India that brought down the cost of Kwid’s spare parts by at least 17%. “I think one of the key reasons (for Renault’s success) is that we have tried to handle India the way India is to be handled. India requires an India-specific strategy,” he had said earlier.
“Sumit will continue to be the member of AMI (Africa-Middle-East-India) Region executive committee and his new position will be announced soon,” Chairman of AMI Region for Groupe Renault, Fabrice Cambolive said.
However, sales of the Kwid have weakened because of an overall fall in the sales of mini or small cars. Demand for the models such as Captur and Lodgy also remained subdued during the year. Compact SUV Duster did taste success but overall volumes remained under pressure owing to poor performance of other products.
Mamillapalle, who was the head of Renault-Nissan-Avtovaz Purchasing Organisation in Russia, comes with extensive automotive experience and has worked with various Indian and international original equipment manufacturers. “I am confident Venkatram will build on the momentum and will further drive the growth,” Cambolive said.