Renault has seen its share of highs and lows in India. From the Logan launch in 2007 to setting up its plant in Chennai in 2010. The brand had a rather rough learning curve in India. Renault Kwid was announced in May 2015 and officially launched in September 2016. Renault Kwid positioned as an entry-level crossover was designed to take on Maruti Alto which to this date has over 45% market share in the entry-level car segment.
Maruti Suzuki is India’s ‘Goliath’ when it comes to cars sold in the country. Virtually every player in the segment has tried and failed to cause a dent in the brands market share. Renault’s idea to position itself as a challenger brand and to compete directly with the market leader in the entry car segment was believed to be a ‘David’ in the making.
Renault turned to the same team that built Logan in India to create Kwid. The brand’s core engineering team was led by Gérard Detourbet, who also led the development of the first generation of Renault Logan. Brand focused on two important aspects to making sure that it builds a superior product.
Localization: Renault knew if it had to take competition head on it has to make sure that the parts are manufactured and made available locally. To achieve this brand worked with a numerous of suppliers to achieve 98% localization of parts used in the car. Localization helped to reduce the costs by over 20% and also ensure timely supply of spare parts which is an important factor for customer buying the car.
Design & Styling: Anybody who has used Maruti Suzuki knows that the company doesn’t do well in the design and styling department. Maruti Alto’s last design upgrade didn’t impress the critics, and some were also critical about the awkward styling. Renault Kwid design team ensures that it doesn’t have any similarity compared to other cars in the entry-level segment. Some critics also called it the ‘Mini-Duster’ as it borrows its styling from Renault Duster. Renault Kwid felt more like a Mini-SUV at the price of an entry-level car.
Renault has positioned Kwid as a city car and not stressed on the affordability factor in its commercials. The #LiveforMore punch line also focuses on the fact that it’s a Mini-SUV.
The brand also roped in Malayalam Actor, Dulquar Salman to reach the audience in South India to promote the car, however, it felt that the move was not well planned was only a tactical move to improve bookings during the festive season in Kerala. For the record, Kerala had already recorded 5,000 bookings for Kwid.
The brand also launched a mobile application for Kwid which allows users to view the features of the car and also compares it with other brands.
On the social media front, the brand leverages its brand corporate presence @Renault India but doesn’t have a separate twitter handle for Kwid and the official page created for Kwid on Facebook has been inactive for a while.
Kwid’s story is still unfolding and the brand has still got time to gain more market share with its promised 1000cc engine and its climber & racer versions to launch.