Renault's Indian models to have high local content: Top executive

Renault‘s upcoming SUV models in India will have a very high local content and will be clearly differentiated with those of alliance partner Nissan Motor India, even as the duo will continue to pursue cross badging as a strategy, said a top executive.

Cross-badging or badge engineering is a strategy adopted by group companies or partners of auto firms sharing the same car or platform with minor engineering changes.

“We have come a long way. If we go back to the history of Renault Nissan — the Pulse, Scala or Fluence were failures, I admit it. They didn’t perform as their (minor) differentiation did bother them. For instance, the (Nissan) Terrano didn’t perform as well as the (Renault) Duster,” Renault India managing director and CEO Venkatram Mamillapalle told ET.

The companies have learnt their lessons. Hence when designing the Nissan Magnite and Renault Kiger, differentiation was taken into consideration. As a result, the two look very different and the only thing common between them is the platform, he said. “From there, we are going to the next level of maturity when we say we will bring a new platform which will underpin vehicles for the Renault Nissan Alliance, the vehicles will be absolutely different.”

In February, the Franco-Japanese alliance said it would invest ₹5,300 crore in India to develop, manufacture, sell and export six brand new vehicles, out of which four would be SUVs and two would be A-segment (small car) electric vehicles.

Renault, which currently sells the Kiger, Triber and Kwid, will start rolling out the new models from 2024, said Mamillapalle, declining to be more specific.

The product launches are likely to start with the premium SUV Megane in 2024, which may be imported as a completely built unit (CBU), followed by a new-generation Duster in 2025 and the Kwid electric in 2026, said a person aware of the company’s plans. “The Megane will help in brand recall and in creating some excitement ahead of the launch of locally made models,” said the person.The locally manufactured, made in India models will have localisation as high as 90%. In addition to addressing the domestic market, they will be exported to a majority of the right-hand-drive markets which includes all of South Asia, Australia, South Africa and Indonesia, said Mamillapalle.


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