Renault Bets On Rural India For Sales Growth, Launches Triber Priced At Rs 4.95 Lakh
Renault India CEO & MD Venkatram Mamillapalle (L) and VP-Sales & Marketing Thomas Dubruel during the launch of the company’s all new car ‘TRIBER’. (PTI) 

Renault Bets On Rural India For Sales Growth, Launches Triber Priced At Rs 4.95 Lakh

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French auto major Renault is betting on Indian small towns and rural markets as it looks to double sales in the next three years, a senior company official said.

The company, which currently sells around 80,000 units annually, aims to start selling two lakh units in the country over the next three years, aided by new model launches and higher sales in rural markets.

Renault, which launched compact seven-seater multi purpose vehicle Triber priced between Rs 4.95 lakh and Rs 6.49 lakh on Wednesday, aims to introduce one new product each year till 2022 which would be specifically designed and developed for the Indian market.

“Every year we will launch a new product in India. We are not going to be a 'me too' product. We are going to be very innovative for the Indian market, designed for the Indian customers, like the way Triber is,” Renault India Operations Country CEO and MD Venkatram Mamillapalle told reporters.

He further said, “We don't want to bring products which are very successful in Brazil and Russia and bring it to India —that was Captur, and we don't want to make the same mistake”.

Mamillapalle said the company made mistakes by following the market and launching ‘me too’ products. “We will no longer go into that direction. That is a mistake Renault did in the past,” he added.

Commenting on the significance of the small towns and rural market in India, he said the potential of buying cars there is developing and is becoming as good as that of urban market.

“These towns are all slowly expanding and as they expand, their transportation needs are also increasing...We are currently selling around 500 cars per month in rural areas,” he said, adding that the company aims rural to account for around 30 percent of its total sales in India.

The company at present just gets about 2 percent of its overall sales from rural markets.

“As we move ahead, we have a mid-term plan of up to 2022 to double our market share, which means double our volumes. Which means we can't be doing only in a concentrated market place. Rural markets offer a solid potential. They are evolving very fast,” Mamillapalle said.

He, however, clarified that focus on rural sales won’t lead the company to abandon urban areas where it has been able to establish itself over the years.

Elaborating on company’s sales network push to attain targets, Mamillapalle said Renault will double its sales network, which currently stands at around 360 outlets, by the end of the next year. Majority of these new outlets would come up in rural markets, he added.

Triber is the second model from the company after Kwid which has been specifically designed and developed for the Indian market. It is powered by a one-litre petrol engine and comes equipped with various features including four airbags.

“We foresee Triber to be a key part of our expansion plans in India, as we look forward to growing the Renault brand in this diverse and exciting automotive market,” Mamillapalle said.

The new model would bridge the gap between Kwid and company’s other SUV offerings like Duster and Captur, he added. “Triber will appeal not only to urban customers, but rural ones as well,” Mamillapalle said.

The company expects to sell 8,000-10,000 units of Triber per month, he added when asked about the sales expectations from the new model.

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