French auto major Renault mulls making mass-market EVs in India
BENGALURU: Renault is considering building a mass-market electric vehicle in India, two people with knowledge of the ongoing review told a news agency, as part of a renewed push into a market where EV adoption is expected to grow quickly from a small base.
The study by Renault underscores how the French automaker is pushing ahead with electrification plans even as it extends unresolved negotiations with its partner Nissan Motor about investing in an EV unit it plans to carve out from its other operations.
It also points to the shifting perception of the auto market in India, which posted the fastest growth of any major market in 2022. EVs were on track to be less than 1% of car sales last year but the government has set a target of 30% by 2030 and has had recent success in attracting suppliers for international automakers, with a range of subsidies.
Renault is studying launching a made-in-India electric version of its Kwid hatchback, the people told the agency.
The review will assess potential demand, pricing and the ability to build the EV with local components, said one of the people, adding that any launch would be late in 2024. The move is part of a broader plan by Renault to rekindle sales in a country where the carmaker remains profitable despite selling fewer cars in 2022 than a year earlier, the person said.
Renault India declined to comment on product plans but said the company has a “strong focus on electrification globally” as part of the strategy outlined by CEO Luca de Meo and that “India is one of the key markets” for the group.