Competing with the likes of Chevrolet Cruz, Skoda Laura and Toyota Altis was never going to be easy. And Renault is still in the process of setting up its sales and distribution network in the country (it has only 14 dealerships across the country). In the first month after launch, Renault Fluence sold 250 cars in May, ahead of the Honda Civic.
With Cruz and Laura selling about 650 each and Altis 419 cars, Fluence has some distance to cover before making a mark in this segment, but it is an encouraging start. If Renault sticks to its strategy, it could shake up this market a little, adding to Honda’s woes. Read: Renault Fluence vs. Competition
Meanwhile, CarToq spoke to some of the early buyers of the Fluence to see what is working for Fluence.
Says Mr. Aggarwal, a businessman from Gurgaon, who was among the first to book the Fluence, “We liked the car as it is very spacious and comfortable. We’ve booked a blue colored diesel Fluence, as we drive nearly 150 km every day, and the Fluence suited our needs well.”
Another new Fluence owner, Sijo Sebastian and Tom Sebastian had this to say. “We liked the design of the Fluence and found it to be a very practical car.”
Says Sudhir Rao, deputy managing director, Renault India, “We will be providing a 4-year 80,000 km warranty with our cars, 24×7 helpline and also three free services up to 20,000 km.” Rao says Renault wants to deliver better value to its customers. Renault plans to set up 40 dealerships by December and 100 dealers by end of 2012.
Renault is aiming for 100,000 car sales by 2013 but competition is not going to make it easy. Already, since the Fluence launch, the erstwhile segment leader Toyota Corolla Altis, has got a facelift. And there is a new Volkswagen Jetta to be launched soon.
Reanult will have to be play it hard and aggressive. Read: Renault’s aggressive strategy for Indian market