Renault stands by goal of doubling India car sales by 2022 despite global slowdown

22, Jun. 2019

Groupe Renault Chief Executive Thierry Bollore speaking in New Delhi.
Groupe Renault Chief Executive Thierry Bollore speaking in New Delhi.

By Atul Ranjan

NEW DELHI, NNA – French automaker Renault is sticking to its plan to double its sales in India by 2022 from the current level despite slower global growth caused by the U.S.-China trade dispute.

“India is a key market for Groupe Renault,” Thierry Bollore, chief executive of Groupe Renault SA, said in a statement Wednesday. “We are still young to India, yet our ambitions are high in line with our ‘Drive the Future’ strategic plan: we aim at doubling our sales by 2022.”

The French carmaker is a popular brand in India, but the company’s local sales fell 27 percent from a year earlier to 82,368 units in 2018, while market leader, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., which holds a 50 percent share, sold 1.73 million units, up 8 percent, according to a local press report.

Renault is introducing the Triber multi-purpose subcompact car later this year. It is designed and built in India for the local market.

Bollore said that the Triber is the outcome of joint efforts between Renault and Nissan Motor Co. He stressed the importance of keeping a friendly alliance with the Japanese automaker despite the wrangling over alleged misconduct by Nissan’s former top executive Carlos Ghosn.

Bollore said that he was confident about maintaining the alliance with Nissan, citing their existing partnership in factory operation, as well as research and development.

He said Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. were scheduled to hold a board meeting on their alliance in early July. He would not disclose the agenda but said it would be “massive.”

Renault will double the number of Indian car dealers which also sell other brands, to around 700 by 2022 from 350 currently, while maintaining the number of directly owned dealers at 120.

Car sales are sluggish in China, South America and Europe, but the Indian market has potential to grow, given huge underlying needs for mobility, Bollore told reporters on Wednesday.

While the CEO said the company does not plan to make any new investment in India, it aims to release electric vehicles “in the next two to three years.”