One of Renault India’s two big volume cars lined up for 2015, the Lodgy MPV, is now inching closer to serial production at the Franco-Japanese automaking venture’s Oragadam factory in India. Moments ago, Renault India released the first official image of the India-spec Lodgy MPV, which is likely to be a lower priced challenger to the likes of the Toyota Innova and the Mahindra Xylo. With the Lodgy’s pricing, Renault is likely to take aim at two segments of the Indian MPV market. The MPV, which uses the M0 platform that is also used by the second generation Logan, could sit in between the Ertiga and the Innova segments in terms of pricing. A March 2015 launch is likely.
The M0 platform from the Renault-Nissan group is a derivative of the B0 platform that is used by the Renault Duster. With the Lodgy, the M0 platform will make its India-debut. Thus far, the M0 platform has been specific to Dacia’s new range of passenger vehicles such as the Logan, Sandero II and the Lodgy. Internationally, the Lodgy MPV is sold with three engine options – 1.2 liter-4 cylinder turbo petrol, 1.6 liter-4 cylinder naturally aspirated petrol and 1.5 liter-4 cylinder turbo diesel engines. For the Indian car market, the 1.6 liter HR16DE petrol and 1.5 liter K9K turbo diesel engines are likely to be shoehorned into the Lodgy. 5 and 6 speed manual transmissions are offered on this MPV.
Notably, the 1.6 liter petrol and 1.5 liter turbo diesel engines are already power the Duster SUV sold in India and both engines feature extensive localization. These synergies are likely to give Renault cost savings and allow the French automaker to price the MPV competitively in India. Available in 5 and 7 seat variants in Europe, the Lodgy has thus far been a left hand drive-only model. The India-spec version will be first right hand drive version of the Lodgy in the world, and this factor could make India a decisive export base for the MPV. On the Lodgy, Renault would need to shore up quality levels though, given the fact that the India-made Duster faced criticism for rusting issues in the UK market.
Renault India is keen to break away from its one-product wonder tag in India, and the Lodgy MPV, along with the A-Entry/XBA entry level hatchback, will be critical in the French automaker’s volumes push in the Indian market. The Lodgy measures nearly 4.5 meters in terms of length, 1.75 meters in width, 1.68 meters in height and comes with a 2.81 meter wheelbase. Larger than the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and the Honda Mobilio, and dimensionally comparable to the Toyota Innova and the Mahindra Xylo, the front wheel driven, monocoque bodied Lodgy’s low cost Dacia origins and light weight could be the MPV’s major selling points.