It’s 12.30pm in New Delhi and it’s rush hour. Even so it’s always a bit rush hour when the city in question has 29 million inhabitants. And the situation is set to get worse: by 2028, the Indian capital should overtake Tokyo to become the most populous city in the world.
Here the streets are filled with every kind of passenger transport: buses, bikes, scooters, side-cars, pedal-carts or rickshaws better known to us as “tuk-tuks” etc. So inevitably there is noise everywhere. Safety, much less so. Largely this is due to overpopulation. Thus it’s not unusual to come across an entire family on a moped or buses filled to overflowing. And everywhere in India, accelerating urbanisation demands mobility solutions.
Uniquely, even though India is the world’s 2nd most populous country, it has one of the lowest rates of motor use. A two-speed mobility produces inequalities. Among them is access to work for women: they make up just ¼ of the labour force in their country.
Mindful of the importance of investing in new international markets, Groupe Renault has for many years deployed an ambitious strategy, reinforced by the announcement of the Drive the Future plan.
Groupe Renault has gradually established itself in India. First in Chennai in 2010 with a joint Renault-Nissan factory and its associated design centre. Then with the launch of the Duster in 2012. The shift from saloons towards SUVs proved decisive. In 2015, the Kwid was born. The trend is accelerating. Imagine: a city car with an SUV look, fun and designed for the new generations of the famous BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China). With a presence in both city cars and more imposing vehicles like the Kaptur, Groupe Renault adds another brick to its Indian edifice.
TRIBER takes us even further. Designed and developed in India, this mini-people-carrier connects with the population and its expectations and desires. It meets a requirement and a real need. Numerous as they may be, Indian customers have high expectations of compact utility vehicles. With easier use and handling, these represent half of sales in India.
Over there the winning 3-way bet can be summed up in 3 words: modularity, utility and affordability. What is the answer? Break the rules! The TRIBER aims to be unclassifiable. It’s a new versatile innovation which switches easily from 5 to 7 seats, whilst making compactness a virtue. Manufactured on a new modular Alliance platform, which will be shared with future vehicles, it embodies another objective of the Drive the Future strategic plan.
80 % of our vehicles will be manufactured on shared Alliance platforms
Heard of the Puja? In Hindu tradition, it’s a ceremony of offerings that brings success to those who observe it. It’s part of the daily life of Hindu Indians, and a custom honoured by Groupe Renault. Thus, during the vehicle handover to customers, an officiant rings a bell and consecrates the car with goods such as fresh flowers or spices.
Open your eyes and look up. The lights are bright, the buildings reach the sky, the crowds throng. Welcome to Shanghai: 26 million inhabitants, one of the world’s biggest megalopolises, and the economic heart of China. The market here is not the same as in India. You need to think electric. 60% of the world’s electric vehicles are sold within the borders of the Middle Kingdom.
Hence the launch of the Renault City K-ZE by the joint venture eGT New Energy Automotive Co., Ltd. The vehicle has the advantage of the global Alliance’s leadership in electric vehicle technologies and automobile design. It can also rely on the expertise of Dongfeng, notably in terms of especially competitive manufacturing costs.
Another Groupe Renault initiative in Shanghai: the inauguration of a design centre in 2019. This is one way to get the best out of this booming and inspiring city! 32 nationalities have gathered there to develop a multicultural, creative approach as close as possible to Chinese customers.
In the 1930s, a time of concessions to Europeans, Groupe Renault was already exporting chassis to China. Times have definitely changed. Nowadays there is a need to understand Chinese challenges despite the country now being the group’s 4th largest global market. The potential for developmental is more than ever at the heart of our thinking. Today our presence works because of local players as well, allowing us to bring suitable vehicles to Chinese customers.
Asia is an area of great interest to Groupe Renault. It is one of the key continents to the success of its international expansion. But knowledge of local markets doesn’t stop at India and China.
Proof of this is Russia, the Group’s 2nd biggest market and thus one of flagship locations. The Arkana launch in late May 2019 shows our adaptability there too. Manufactured in our Moscow factory and developed with specialists in the Russian market, the SUV coupé combines the best of both worlds to appeal to customers in Russia.
Tomorrow perhaps our next destination will be Brazil, or maybe Korea, Australia or South Africa. Wherever we go, the key will be to get on the ground and meet the locals. To understand their needs and deliver mobility solutions to as many of them as we can!