Renault India, which has rode on to become the fifth largest player within five years of operations with a 4.5 per cent market share in the 3-million units per annum domestic car market, will add 50 more dealers to take overall dealerships to over 320 by December.
"Over the past five years, we've not only become the fastest growing car brand in the country but also the fastest in dealership addition. We closed 2016 with 270 dealers, adding almost 70 over 2015 and will be opening 50 more to take our brand presence to 320 by end-December," Renault India chief executive Sumit Sawhney told PTI on Monday from his Chennai headquarters.
He said Renault has achieved these gains despite having just three models or serving only under 30 per cent of this market. Its models are the runaway success Kwid, the made-in-and made-for-India small car; the compact SUV Duster and the MPV Lodgy.
The company has discontinued all its CKD units- the small car Klose and the sedan Scala two years ago.
Of the 1,32,235 units it sold in 2016, a growth of 146 per cent over 2015, the Kwid launched in 2016 is the biggest grosser with 75 per cent of the volume followed by the Duster with around 20 per cent and the Lodgy contributing the rest, he said, adding for financial year 2017, they sold 88.4 per cent more at 1,35,123 units.
This has helped catapult India as the seventh largest volume contributor for the French parent in 2016, jumping three notches from 2015.
On their used car business, launched last year, Sawheny said they will more than double the Renault Selection outlets to 50 this year from the present 20. It has sold more than 2,360 cars through Renault Selection since May 2016.
He admitted that the Lodgy has not met their expectation of notching up a four-digit sales numbers so far, as it is averaging under 500 only now. "I hope to touch the 1000 units hopefully by December," he said.
Sawhney refused to share his sales target for 2017 saying "my first objective is to consistently have 5 per cent market share and to be among the top 5 by 2020."
"Last year we had crossed the 5 per cent market a couple of times. But I want that to be consistent, which I see achieving by 2020 as the market is also growing," he said as an explanation for the long three years he envisages to add just half a percentage more to his market share.
The flat sales it has seen during the first four months of 2017 at 41,722 units may be the reason for the tempered optimism, while the industry clipped past around 12 per cent during the same time.
Renault, which has an alliance with Nissan globally, also has the same alliance extended at its 4.8 lakh units plant in Chennai. The alliance has pumped more than Rs 6,000 crore into the country so far and employs over 12,000. Over the past five years, Renault has sold close to 4 lakh cars in Mumbai.