Renault’s first product for the Indian car market as an independent entity (not counting the Logan which was built in association with Mahindra) was the Fluence sedan. First launched during 2011 in India, the Fluence sedan with a mid life facelift just went on sale in the country days go.
The Fluence was launched with petrol and turbo diesel engine options initially but is now available only in diesel power. Renault India has discontinued the petrol variants of the Fluence sedan on account of poor sales. The car used to feature a 2 liter petrol engine (135 Bhp-190 Nm) mated to a CVT automatic gearbox.
Poor fuel efficiency was a major bane of the petrol powered Fluence. This low fuel efficiency of the petrol sedan was further exacerbated by the excellent fuel efficiency that the 1.5 liter K9K turbo diesel engined variants delivered, aided to good measure by the more efficient 6 speed manual gearbox, compared to the distinctly less efficient CVT automatic on the petrol powered version.
Renault imports the Fluence sedan into India in completely knocked down (CKD) kit form and assembles the car at its Oragadam factory. Dispensing with the petrol powered Fluence will allow the French car maker to cut costs and reduce inventory pile ups.
Indian D-Segment sedan buyers gravitate overwhelmingly towards diesel powered cars given the higher fuel efficiency and lower running costs on offer. In such a scenario, having a low volume petrol car only serves to increase costs for car makers with no meaningful volumes to be had from petrol powered D-Segment sedans.
On cue, car makers in India have been steadily cutting down on petrol powered cars in the D-Segment. Honda discontinued the Civic while General Motors took a diesel-only approach for the Chevrolet Cruze right from day one. With the Fluence Petrol now discontinued, petrol D-Segment sedans seem to be dwindling lot.