The French automaker had a number of failures across the Indian market, but back in 2012 took home the prize thanks to the addition of the Duster small sport utility vehicle that attracted consumers that previously opted for hatchbacks.
Renault used a rebadged version of the model that was designed and manufactured for the Dacia affordable brand throughout Europe and their success in India didn’t go unnoticed by the rest of competitors. Japan’s Suzuki and South Korea’s Hyundai both aim to deliver their first Indian representatives across the compact sport utility vehicle segment – that could spell war for Renault. The South Asian country automaker’s sales are 90 percent dominated by the Duster SUV. Additionally, Ford has also been watching carefully the developments, with the small EcoSport making up 69 percent of the automaker’s Indian deliveries. The increased demand for compact SUV models is sparking the interest of the country’s top automakers (Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai) as Indians make the move from hatchback to the larger, but still largely fuel-efficient SUV models. “Competition is going to be extremely intense because this segment is growing much faster than the rest of the market,” said Abdul Majid, head of the automotive sector for India at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Chennai.
Entries from top sellers means smaller carmakers such as Renault now need to look for the next best-seller to safeguard their local profit and the Indian auto market is still recovering from the biggest sales plunge in a decade. Maruti Suzuki India is ready to deliver the S-Cross crossover and Hyundai has started a teaser campaign for its Creta sport utility vehicle recently.