Renault India plans an offensive in the next six to nine months by launching not one but three vehicles in some of the most popular segments in India. The first one would be the Duster AWD (it actually employs a part-time 4WD and is NOT a permanent all-wheel drive vehicle) that should be getting launched anytime now (most probably mid-September).
The second would be the Renault Lodgy, an MPV that plans to take the fight straight to the Honda’s Mobilio and Maruti’s Ertiga. The third would be an entry-level hatchback to compete with the likes of the Alto, Eon and even the Datsun GO.
At present, Renault’s Indian range comprises of the Pulse (B-segment hatchback), Scala (C-segment sedan), Koleos (SUV playing on Fortuner’s turf), Fluence (D-segment sedan), and the Duster, which obviously everyone knows about. After all, it’s the vehicle that makes for almost 75 per cent of Renault sales in India! The 4×4 variant will just strengthen its position and may uplift falling sales.
The Lodgy MPV will have one advantage over the Mobilio and Ertiga, especially the former – it looks more presentable any day than these two, and with no resemblance, whatsoever, with the Pulse it might strike a chord with many who may not want to buy an MPV that looks like a grown-up Brio or a stretched out Ritz. Expect an early 2015 launch for the Renault Lodgy.
Not many concrete details about the small car are available at this moment. There is a possibility that Renault may launch its own version of Datsun redi-Go concept which was showcased at the Auto Expo. It is in the air that an 800cc engine is under development which may power Renault’s small car in India. Launch is expected sometime after Lodgy MPV.