Paris: French auto major Renault will start exporting its small car Kwid to South Africa, Bhutan and Bangladesh from India next year as it prepares to take the popular hatchback to various global markets.
The company, which launched the car in India with 98 per cent localisation in 2015, has already started exporting the hatchback to Sri Lanka, Nepal and Mauritius.
“We started exports of Kwid with Sri Lanka, followed by Nepal and now we are going to Bhutan and Bangladesh,” Renault India Operations Country CEO and Managing Director Sumit Sawhney told PTI.
Shipments to Bhutan would begin during the second half of next year while exports to Bangladesh would also begin towards the middle of next year, he added.
“We are also working on South Africa currently and shipments are expected to be sent in the first quarter of next year,” Sawhney said.
Terming the Kwid as one of the biggest ‘Make in India’ success story, Sawhney said that the model will be going to a host of markets outside India.
Launched in September last year, Kwid has been a success for Renault in India. Initially, the car was available with an 800 cc engine at a price tag of Rs 2.64-3.73 lakh. Recently a 1,000 cc engine variant and one with automated manual transmission (AMT) have also been introduced.
The company has so far retailed over 1.10 lakh units of the model in India since its launch last year.
When asked if there would be sourcing of parts from India to the company’s Brazil plant where manufacturing of the small car is expected to begin next year, Sawhney said: “When we say 98 per cent localisation, we got many suppliers in India so the markets especially, Mauritius and South Africa, the car is going to be built in India and exported.
“But when the car is going to be manufactured in Brazil, we will see that wherever Indian suppliers are competitive, opportunities will come to those suppliers.”
To celebrate the first anniversary of Kwid, Renault embarked on a drive with the Kwid from India to France. The car passed through 13 countries covering 18,996 kms before reaching Paris.
The French company has invested heavily towards getting the basics right and creating a strong foundation for Renault in India.
The Franco-Japanese auto alliance of Renault-Nissan has a manufacturing plant in Chennai with an annual capacity of 4.8 lakh units.