For the past 12 years, Renault has enjoyed an incredible worldwide success with its line-up of low-cost models, which are marketed under the Dacia brand in Europe and North Africa, and under the Renault brand in most other markets like Russia, South America, Arabia and India. In fact, these low-cost models currently comprise as much as 46% of worldwide sales for the combined Renault and Dacia brands. In India, the Duster had been the most successful Renault model so far, but the French carmaker has really shaken up the Indian car market when it launched the Kwid small car there last year. The Kwid is slightly larger than the European Twingo, and has a higher ride height, giving it a sort of mini-crossover look. Initially only produced in India and launched there, the Kwid has become an instant hit, with 70.000 orders in the first two months of sales, while Renault’s previous sales record in India stood at less than 45.000 sales in 2014. Production capacity was quickly upgraded to 10.000 units a month and so far Renault has sold every Kwid it could build in India, helping the French brand to a record 4th place in April, ahead of local manufacturer Tata. The model itself has stormed up the Indian sales charts as well, rising quickly to the segment 2nd place, ahead of the Hyundai Eon and unsuccessful Tata Nano, and closing in quickly on the perennial overall sales leader in India: the Maruti (Suzuki) Alto, which suffered a drop of 23% in dealer orders in April, possibly as dealers expect the Alto to suffer from competition from the Kwid in coming months.
Earlier this month we asked our readers if they thought Fiat was on the right track with the all-new Tipo “entry-compact” sedan, by launching a low-priced and low-tech sedan (a hatchback and station wagon will follow) after every previous attempt to sell a Volkswagen Golf rival has miserably failed.
68% of respondents have faith in this strategy, with just over half of them predicting annual sales between 75.000-100.000 annual units, similar to the Skoda Rapid and Citroën C4 Cactus, while a third of respondents think the Tipo could beat the Bravo, which peaked at 93.397 sales in 2008. Another third predicts another failure for Fiat as it won’t even hit 75.000 sales in Europe. Mind you, this excludes Turkey, where the Tipo (under the name Ægea) is produced and where it should follow the Linea as the best selling vehicle overall. [Read more…]