European car maker Renault India on Thursday said its sales in volume term have been hit by the current slowdown in the automobile industry in the country. The car maker, however, is not resorting to any job cut, but working on reducing costs and increasing efficiency, Renault India Country CEO and MD Venkatram Mamillapalle said.
“We have been hit by the slowdown in the automobile sector. Sales volumes have been dipped by 17-20 per cent till date in the current year as compared to the last period,” he said. The company sold 86,000 units in 2018, he said.
Since its market share in the automobile industry is 2.4 per cent, there has not been any major jolt to the company due to the slowdown, Mamillapalle said. “Two models (one SUV and a small car) are giving volumes but not to the extent we want”, he told reporters on the side-lines of the launch of its new sports utility vehicle (SUV), Triber.
The other reason which had impacted the sector, particularly in the urban areas, is the emergence of ride-hailing cabs. “Ride-hailing cabs have an impact on the sales of cars and people, mostly in the urban areas, are preferring for shared rides”, he said.
Mamillapalle also said that the company would focus on the rural segment of the country and increase the dealership network in small towns and villages.
Renault official also said the Society for Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), a national body representing all major vehicle and vehicular engine manufacturers in the country had approached the government for reduction in GST from 28 per cent to 18 per cent.
He said that exports to Latin American countries and South Africa from India have been giving some cushion to the company.
Recently, Renault launched its compact seven-seater multi-purpose vehicle Triber which is priced between Rs 4.95 lakh and Rs 6.49 lakh.
Powering the Triber is the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine that belts out 71 bhp and 96 Nm of peak torque. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission as standard and tips the scale at 947 kg. On the competition front, Renault Triber is up against Maruti Suzuki Swift and the recently launched Hyundai Grand i10 Nios.
On the features front, the Triber comes equipped with class-leading 8-inch infotainment system which supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also has a push-button start, USB charging at the front, 12V charges for second and third-row passengers, reverse camera, cooled glove box, climate control, separate air-condition control for rear passengers and keyless entry.
In terms of safety feature, the car has four airbags, three-point seatbelts for all three rows, the mandatory speed alert system, rear parking sensors and seatbelt reminder which helps it to comply with the new safety norms. The boot space is limited to 84 litres when all seats are in use while it can be expanded to 625 litres..
(With inputs from PTI)