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Renault launches product offensive in India

·         Today marks the official market launch of Fluence in India, one of the three priority countries in Renault’s international development strategy.

·         This is the first stage in a five-product product that is scheduled through to the end of the 2012 and will give Renault the youngest line-up on the Indian market.

·         Manufactured at the Chennai plant, Fluence is an upmarket model that will be selling through the first fourteen outlets making up Renault’s new Indian network.

New ambitions

Renault’s Indian development initiative began in 2007 and is now picking up speed with a full-scale product offensive: in October, Fluence will be followed by Koleos (also assembled at the Chennai plant, in south-east India). This will be followed by three further models, including an SUV, in 2012.

Renault India Managing Director Marc Nassif commented: “Launch of Fluence in India is the start of a wide-reaching product offensive on one of the markets considered a pillar of Renault’s international development the ‘2016 - Drive the Change’ plan. With the Chennai plant, along with Renault’s engineering, design and logistics centers, plus a dealer network that will number 100 outlets by the end of 2012, Renault is doing everything to offer Indian customers a range of quality vehicles well matched to local market conditions”.

High-potential markets

With annual growth of around 20 percent over the last few years, the Indian market is one of the most vigorous in the world. And growth potential is very high. The market totaled 1.2 million vehicles in 2005 and is expected to reach 3 million by the end of 2011, then 3.7 million by 2015, making India the world’s fourth biggest auto market. Around 60 percent of customers are first-time buyers, and 57 percent are aged under 35 (2009 figures).

Renan Livet, marketing manager for the Asia-Africa region notes: “The Indians love technology, ranging from the internet and latest-generation mobile phones to high-tech products of all kinds. Sure, people want affordable cars, but they also want them to bristle with new technologies. So Renault is entering the Indian market from the top end to establish a strong brand image driven by the technological virtues of its best products”.

The Alliance’s Chennai plant spearheads the conquest of the Indian market

Because of India’s dissuasive import duties, only cars assembled locally in India can expect to achieve competitive performance and thus take significant market shares. The Chennai plant, which was built by the Renault-Nissan Alliance and employs a workforce of 3,600, thus appears as a major driving force for Renault on this market, and will have a capacity of 400,000 vehicles per year by 2015. Other facilities contributing to Renault’s development in India are:

- The RNTBCI (Renault Nissan Technology and Business India Pvt Ltd) engineering unit, which is based in Chennai and employs 1,600 people

- RIPL (Renault India Private Ltd), the sales subsidiary, also based in Chennai.

- Renault Design India, in Mumbai (western India)

- A worldwide logistics and export centre for Renault and Nissan parts, in Pune (western India)

Brand recognition for excellent service quality

Renault’s ambition is naturally to provide its Indian customers with quality products, and the two-year extended warranty brings tangible proof of product and service quality from day one. Special attention has been given to two functions essential to high-performance aftersales service: spare parts logistics, and dealer network technical support staff and future instructors.

After a shortlisting procedure to select applicants by testing their technical skills, a first group of Indian technicians came over to the Renault Academy in France from December 2010 to March 2011 to take a training course culminating in Cotech qualification.

In logistics training, given the number of parts in common across Renault and Nissan vehicles, Renault India draws on support from Nissan India to share its experience and supply spare parts.

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