Since 2012 the Indian automobile industry is going through a tumultuous period. Worsening macro-economic conditions within the country, high interest rates and rising input costs are fast eroding the profitability of most of the car manufactures. Despite price cuts and other incentives, car sales in India remained sluggish. Analysts are pointing to a second straight year of declining sales in what was one of the world’s fastest growing auto markets. The slowdown in the overall automobile demand in the country was a concern for the product managers of Renault. Though amidst all the gloom, Renault had some reasons to cheer. Since its launch in summer of 2012, Renault’s compact SUV Duster’s market performance had been far beyond the expectations of the Renault management. After a string of unsuccessful partnerships and product launches, the product managers at Renault had finally managed to launch a product which struck a chord with the Indian consumers. The fact that SUVs have been registering good growth in an otherwise somnambulistic car market has clearly helped the Duster’s cause. Yet, there was tremendous hard work put in by the Renault India team to get everything right -- from the features and mileage to the final price. Now amidst all the economic gloom and slew of fresh competition posed by new launches by Ford and Maruti, the coming year appears to be a much more challenging proposition. Product management team of Duster was poring over the market reports and surveys to figure the next move. 2
Renault’s story in India
Renault is a French multinational vehicle manufacturer established in 1899 by Louis Renault and his two brothers. The company produces a range of cars and vans, and in the past, trucks, tractors, tanks, buses/coaches and autorail vehicles. In order to better scale up globally and to cross leverage the R&D expertise, Renault and Nissan forged a strategic alliance in 1999. The Alliance is a strategic partnership based...
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