Text : Bhargav TS

The compact hatchback segment in India is so far dominated by Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai, who enjoyed the sweet spot with their flagship models Alto and Santro. Now, the French automaker Renault is ready to compete with the established players by offering its latest compact hatchback Kwid, which was globally unveiled in Chennai recently. The new small car is based on the CMF-A platform. CMF-A stands for Common Module Family and the A stands for Affordable.

Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO, Group Renault along with Sumit Sawhney, Country CEO& MD, Renault India

Carlos Ghosn, Chairman
and CEO, Group Renault
along with Sumit
Sawhney, Country CEO&
MD, Renault India

After unveiling the Kwid in Chennai, Chairman and Group CEO, Renault, Carlos Ghosn said, “Renault is taking another big step and to make customers’ everyday life easier with a car that is robust, innovative and connected. With Kwid, Renault continues to pursue its strategy of accessible mobility for all to step up its international growth. Using a new Renault-Nissan Alliance platform and following the trail blazed by the Duster. In a market where the A2 and A3 segments account for the bulk of sales (the A segment currently accounts for more than 30% of retail sales), a growing number of customers are keen to own larger, higher-end models. With the help of Kwid and recently launched Lodgy, we wanted to grow from the current 1.5% to 5% market share.”
The Kwid will be launched this year in India during the festive season with a price tag of between Rs 3 and 4 lakhs. Renault will launch the Kwid outside India as well, but the company’s first priority is to fulfilling the domestic demand. The Managing Director of Alliance A-segment Development, Renault Nissan, Gerard Detourbet said, “Since Kwid is a global product, Renault undertook its testing across different parts of the world with chassis been tested in Japan, body equipment test in Korea, endurance test in France and assembly testing in India. It is co-developed in Chennai and France and has almost 98% local content in it. This will help us to price the Renault Kwid quite competitively.”

Renault Kwid

Renault Kwid

By looking at the Kwid it has strong SUV cues, by having a wide Renault grille with rectangular headlamps and a muscular, squared-off design. The side cladding makes it look sort of a small SUV from some angles. The high ground clearance and the strong wheel arches are all part of that design. The alliance company has also developed a new 800cc petrol engine equipped with 5 speed manual transmission. Overall, the car weighs at 670kg, lighter than the Hyundai Eon by 55kg and 25kg less than the Maruti Alto 800.

Renault promises that the Kwid has room for 5 people and equipped with an integrated infotainment system, including a 7-inch screen and bluetooth connectivity. This is the same Media Nav system that goes into Lodgy and the Duster. Renault also confirmed that airbags will be available as an option. Renault says they believe in safety and the Kwid will meet all regulatory safety requirements.

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