After a failed joint venture with Mahindra & Mahindra, Renault India embarked upon an India journey alone. The primary job was to come out of the Logan shadow, which eventually went to the Mahindra & Mahinrda stable and was rebranded as Verito. However, Renault India wanted to start on a clean slate and didn't want to itself to be associated with that legacy.
Delivering his address, at the Pitch CMO Summit 2012 – South, in Chennai on Friday, Len Curran, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Renault India, said that the company would try and bring to India the Renault DNA, for which it is known globally.
He said that not many people know that Renault has a history with India. It was not Logan. The first Renault car was sold in India as way back as 1921. He said that Renault in India was known for Logan, which was known as an old-fashioned but spacious, basic, good quality car. After the failed venture, Renault was still not known in India even after heavy investments. So the only way forward was to start on its own, and play to its global strengths.
So the company had five clearly defined objectives in India: Establish Renault as an independent brand; develop a brand vision to provide a clear direction for communication and products; launch five products to establish Renault and build sales; open dealer outlets in synch with the product launches; and optimally utilise Renault’s worldwide assets, infrastructure and achievements to achieve India objectives.
Speaking about Renault's ambition in India, Curran said that the brand hopes to reach the top three brand ranking among international manufacturers in India by 2015. It also hopes to have two per cent market share in phase one and grow to five per cent in phase two. As far as the launch strategy is concerned, it wants five cars and then wants to take up the number of its sales point to 100 by the end of 2012.
The company currently has three cars – Fluence, Koleos and Pulse in the Indian market. It's going to launch Duster early next month. It currently has a dealer network of 55.
The strategy forward for the company, according to Curran, is to play to its strengths, which include, brilliant engines, stunning designs, world-class safety and best in quality. The company, according to Curran is also aware of its weaknesses and is ready to overcome them. The customer's biggest hesitation in buying a Renault is that firstly it is an unknown brand. Also, the customer has doubts whether buying a Reanult is a safe investment. Thirdly, it has a small service network. The company is working to get over these weaknesses. While the company has used mass media at a limited level, it is banking on its BTL activities such as tying up with Formula 1 in India to ramp up its image.
While Logan has a low image and is used largely for taxi service, all new cars from Renault in India have been positioned as premium cars.
The Economic Times was the title sponsor of the Summit. TV9 was the associate sponsor. The Summit was supported by Ad Club Chennai and Ad Club Hyderabad.