French auto-maker Renault was ‘on track’ to reach its target of gaining five per cent market share in the domestic market by end 2017, a top official said.
The company had earlier announced it would achieve market share of five per cent by 2017 with introduction of new cars, including the highly popular small car Kwid, Sports Utility Vehicle Duster and multi-purpose vehicle Lodgy.
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“Like other manufacturing companies our business was also impacted by demonetisation. Last month, we saw 23 per cent growth. What we said in 2016 was we will be doing better than 2015. Now it is a reality. We already hold 4.5 per cent market share”, Renault India Country Manager Sumit Sawhney said. The company has about 3.10 lakh cars on Indian roads as of last month, driven by popular models Kwid and Duster.
On the impact of demonetisation, he said traffic flow to dealers like enquiries about new cars had come down.Even those those purchasing cars were delaying taking delivery, he told reporters here.
Asked about the company’s plans for 2017, he said, “we understand the situation. Fortunately, we are a young brand. We still see 2017 would be again a growth year for Renault”.
“The automobile industry may see a small single digit growth, that too in second half of 2017. For Renault India, we are on track in reaching five per cent market share by end of 2017”, he said.
The company also planned to increase dealer outlets from 270 to 325 by next year, he said, adding they would continue the strategy of introducing one new product every year in the domestic market.
Earlier this month, the company had announced it would suspend the third shift at its manufacturing facility in Oragadam near Chennai as part of optimisation plans. Asked about it, he said “That was done because we are meeting our objectives (with available inventory itself)”.
The company had sold around 50,000 units of all models in 2015 and expects to sell 1.30 lakh units this year, he said. On exports, he said the company had shipped around 6,000 units in 2016 and next year it would begin exports to South Africa, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
“Already we are the No 2 player and the number one European car manufacturer in Sri Lanka”, he said.