Renault Kwid and its initiation into the Indian market
It’s not every day we see that thoughtful combinations work, and make it a Winner. That is exactly what happened with the Renault Kwid. It is a winner, a performer and set to make great inroads into the relatively unventured, A-Type, the entry level car segment. And it has many things going for it. For one, it has rewritten the small car design laws. There was this belief, that small cars cannot be equipped with too much in terms of size, limitations, and pricing, but Kwid did just the opposite. It is innovative, feature-rich, heavily accessorized, neatly styled and designed and created and offered at an economic pricing. In fact, its evolution is the way most automakers would engage in, if the cars were in the B, C, or D-segment.
The Kwid is most definitely the best contender to the Maruti Alto. The Kwid is the first beneficiary of the CMF-A platform which will initiate more products in the same platform in future. It is powered with a 3-cylinder 800cc ‘SCe’ petrol engine. Wherein, 'SCe' stands for 'Smart Control Efficiency'. It is ARAI certified for fuel economy of 25.17 km/litre, and today, is officially, India’s most fuel-efficient petrol car. Not a small feat this.
A Whooping 25,000 bookings in its First Month for Kwid
The Kwid has taken the A-segment level literally by storm. A surprising winner from Renault and it is the second winner for Renault after the Duster SUV. The Kwid made 25,000 bookings in the first month of its launch. And with better dealer network, word of mouth and growing popularity, a lot of positive inquiries are coming from the Indian Tier II and Tier III cities too. It is aggressively priced, beautifully designed, fuel efficient, low maintenance and a well-equipped vehicle. It has appealed to a mass segment, a younger generation, and even female populace too.
One of the Top Ten at Nine and Counting
Among the top 10 highest selling cars in December 2015, there was a surprise entry, the A-segment hatchback, the Renault Kwid. It has become one of the Top 10 in India since its launch, just three months earlier in September 2015. It sold 6,888 units in December and thus earned the 9th position.
And surprisingly it overtook, the popular Hyundai Eon from the same segment which took the 10th position after the Kwid.
Early Recognitions - Winner of the Car of the Year 2016
Surprising and unexpected, the Renault Kwid which was launched only in the third quarter of 2015 has managed to scalp top honors at the Autocar India Awards 2016. The Kwid won not just one but two prestigious awards. The Renault Kwid is the Car of the Year 2016 and it also got the title of 'Hatchback of the Year'. It is nothing short of amazing to be able to garner something like this in such a short time. It fought off strong competition from other contenders like the new Maruti Baleno, Honda Jazz and also the Hyundai Creta.
As per Hormazd Sorabjee, editor, Autocar India, “The Kwid is a true game-changer and comes as a breath of fresh air at the budget end of the car market.”
The Autocar India Awards are well-regarded by automakers and also customers’. The Awards are decided after many months of efforts, where nominees undergo many tests and is gauged by an experienced panel of judges from the industry.
What is working for the Kwid?
- The A-segment has been shaken and stirred. Since it is the entry level, vehicles with a mass volume intention were designed and released. And also, since it had established players like Maruti and Hyundai, no one really vied for market share. With the Kwid, everything changed. Renault has changed the name of the game. The benign A-segment that has remained sluggish has woken up. The Kwid was packaged and designed differently and proved to be a surprising winner.
- It’s a culmination of many years’ research and study and it is the first vehicle for Renault that had 98% localization. With some parts sourced from other countries and indeed, a glocal car in the A-segment.
- It has a super frugal and a very fuel efficient engine.
- Currently, sold at over 210 dealerships, and to increase sales coverage a Kwid App was introduced that served as a virtual showroom in places where no dealer network was available and people downloaded the App and experienced the Kwid’s specialties first-hand. And even went on to make bookings on the Kwid App.
- Tier II Tier III cities are leading in the Kwid bookings circuit. The younger generation and also female car buyers make up a good percentage.
- The Kwid is priced well below current market leaders, the Alto and the Eon.
- But owing to positive response, Renault has increased the pricing by about 3%.
- It entered the top 10 most sold car listings in December 2015 and also won the best Car of the Year Award in 2016.
How Renault got it Right with the Kwid and made it an Out-and-Out Winner
The French automaker, Renault has had a patchy presence in India and it was relatively unknown till its bestseller SUV, the Duster came along. And if going by sales percentages, Renault seems to be making an impact in the Indian auto market. Renault clocked 150% sales growth in January 2016; in December 2015 it was 160% and 144% in November 2015.
And what set this off? It was the unparalleled response to its entry level car, the Kwid. The car has crossed 1, 00,000 bookings and it is the second hit maker from Renault after the Duster. It has surprised everyone including the automaker themselves. It was their MPV, Lodgy that they expected would make an impact, but people responses were tepid.
But instead, it was the aspirationally-designed and intended A-segment vehicle the Kwid that took top honors. With the Duster as a muse, they followed the same success mantra and adapted a vehicle that mimicked the SUV. The Indian market is obsessed with SUVs and crossovers therefore applying the same logic, the Kwid, a mini SUV and also in a segment unheard of, paid off for Renault even though it was against bestsellers, the Maruti Alto and the Hyundai Eon.
The overall sales figures across all segments for Renault say it all. Over 10,292 units sold in December 2015 and for the Calendar Year 2015, sales have grown 20.1% to 53, 847 units.
Where the Kwid made a difference was that for the entry level segment, carmakers don’t pay much attention to innovations and aspirations. But with the Kwid, Renault packed it with good tech and infotainment system, appealing design and style, and had over 60 accessories that could be personalized. And all at a killer pricing that was lesser than bestsellers, the Alto and the Eon.
This winner is a many years’ efforts for Renault. And if it worked in a country like India, they can make it work anywhere, especially in countries where they have a good presence. Market penetration is a lot easier and now with the A-segment, they are making great inroads in India too. And since it is an A-segment level, the Kwid will be high sales-volume car, which also caters to a savvy, young, Indian public.
A New Day has come for the A-segment
Therefore, in a never-before penetration, the small car segment, where many aspects were ignored or not tried, car designs were obsolete or generic, performance was just adequate and also considering most buyers are first-timers or entry-level, Renault Kwid comes with a whiff of fresh air. It has revolutionized the A-segment and how!
Sales growth is phenomenal and if it continues on a roll, it will definitely be a dramatic debut, having proven that if designed well, it will sell, and would wakeup automakers to take note of a long-ignored, A-segment.
This glocal automobile, the Renault Kwid has arrived and at what pace!