Renault launches new SUV Captur in India, prices start from Rs 9.99 lakh

Sumant Banerji   New Delhi     Last Updated: November 7, 2017  | 14:10 IST
Renault launches new SUV Captur in India, prices start from Rs 9.99 lakh

French car maker Renault on Monday launched a premium sports utility vehicle Captur. Priced between Rs 9.99-11.69 lakh for the three petrol and Rs 11.39-13.88 lakh for the four diesel variants. Captur is positioned above the firm's existing SUV Duster even as its diesel version, available only in the 110 PS trim for the 1.5 litre engine, is around Rs 35,000 less than Duster. Duster also has a low tuned 85 PS version of the same engine that costs much less. "People are looking at SUVs that are more stylish and not boxy. In a dynamic market like India, simple innovation does not help.

We have to bring disruption," says Sumit Sawhney, Country CEO and Managing Director, Renault India. "Since the  launch of Duster the SUV segment has grown three fold and shows no signs of cooling off. Between January and October this calendar year, the segment has grown by 46 per cent. So the lure of this segment was obvious. No car in this segment has these many features for this price as the Captur."

Renault's journey in India has been in fits and starts. It first entered India in partnership with local utility vehicle maker Mahindra and Mahindra in 2007 with the launch of a no frills entry level sedan--Logan. The vehicle was an unceremonious disaster. Four years later it re-entered the market with its global alliance partner Nissan, setting up a factory on the outskirts of Chennai. Yet, success eluded it with its first few cars--premium SUV Koleos, sedan Fluence and hatchback Pulse.

It struck gold only with the Duster in 2012 and more recently with its entry level small car Kwid. Still it has found the going tough in India on a sustained basis and has struggled to achieve its self-proclaimed market share target of 5 per cent. "Today we are around 4 per cent marketshare. The problem is we have only three products and the mini segment is not growing,"says Sawhney."The 5 per cent share is within sight. Our next mid term target is we should consistently position ourself with a 5 per cent share. We need more products in the less than 4 metre segment that is 70 per cent of the overall market."

Captur is expected to bring in incremental numbers to the company's fold but may not be a blockbuster like the Hyundai Creta. The latter, launched a good three years after the Duster, is the segment topper with average sales of over 9000 units a month. Duster, in contrast, has notched up sales of only 1300 units in the last six months.

Sawhney is dismissive of any cannibalisation between his two SUVs but more than Hyundai, Captur may end up hurting Duster even more. "It is an apples to oranges comparison. Wherever both products exist globally, we haven't seen any cannibalisation, so we do not see any in India either ," he says. "Captur is more stylish with a higher ground clearance and is more urban. Duster is more rugged, comes with more engine options and even has an automatic and all wheel drive variants. It would still appeal to the die hard wanderers."

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