Previewed in (albeit a very different) concept form last year in New Delhi, the production Kwid looks a bit like the Dacia Duster, but is actually an A-segment hatchback with SUV-inspired styling. That means it's in the same size class as the Chevy Spark, Fiat Panda, Toyota Aygo, and Suzuki Splash. It's only a few inches longer than the Twingo that represents the company in the same segment in Europe, but is almost unfathomably a couple of inches narrower. Or to put it in a different context, it's nearly two feet shorter nose to tail than a Jeep Renegade or Fiat 500X. Yes, that small.
Renault surely gave the Kwid a rugged design for appeal, but adopted the tall box form for increased interior space. Renault boasts class-leading space for the Kwid, and despite its budget orientation, it still offers a seven-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth connectivity, with black lacquer and chrome trim to jazz it up beyond the usual hard plastics.
The automaker has yet to reveal full technical details, but we wouldn't expect anything much larger than a 1.0-liter inline-three, and we can already see the five-speed stick shifter in the cabin. Contrary to some of the Datsuns that tend to recycle old hardware, though, Renault has revealed that the Kwid is build on a new CMF-A modular architecture that will underpin future products as well.
Underscoring Renault's increased focus on international markets – selling 46 percent of its vehicles outside Europe last year, compared to 37 percent in 2010 – the Kwid was developed largely in India for the Indian market. About 98 percent of its components are sourced from within the country, and 60 percent in the Chennai region where it will be built. It'll launch there later this year with a price positioned between 3 and 4 lakhs – or around $5,000 at current exchange rates. Kwid pro quote indeed.
An attractive, innovative and affordable vehicle for international markets
As an innovator since 1898, Renault has constantly sought to pioneer new ideas, question conventional thinking and reinvent the way we use cars.
"With KWID, Renault continues to pursue its strategy of accessible mobility for all to step up its international growth. Using a new Renault-Nissan Alliance platform and following the trail blazed by the Duster, the KWID will enable Renault to continue its expansion and address the needs of customers who want a vehicle that is stylish, robust and easy to use."
Carlos Ghosn - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Groupe Renault
The KWID overturns established A-segment design cues thanks to a robust, stylish exterior plus a modern, welcoming interior equipped with features normally associated with models from the next segment up.
This eminently modern newcomer features SUV styling and construction, combining generous cabin space with unprecedented features for its segment, while its compact footprint makes it particularly versatile.
Quality interior appointments include a modern Media-Nav navigation/multimedia system complete with large seven-inch touchscreen display and Bluetooth connectivity.
The KWID combines the comfort and functional user-friendliness of a family city car with a modular interior and a raft of stowage solutions.
Renault has long showcased its ability to develop unique, innovative vehicles designed to meet the specific needs of its international markets.
With the introduction of the KWID, the brand has gone a step further down the road of designing attractive, affordable vehicles in the small-car segment.
The KWID will be launched in India in the second half of 2015 with a price tag of between 3 and 4 lakhs.
Unique styling, plus features new to the KWID's segment
The combination of KWID's great looks, features more readily associated with higher-end models, a dynamic stance and SUV lines adapted to its compact size make it a unique offering in India's compact city car segment. The brand new « Outback Bronze » colour adds a warm, energetic touch. The KWID is an attractive, modern car, with a spacious, comfortable interior that meets the everyday needs of families.
SUV styling that inspires confidence
The Renault KWID illustrates the 'Explore' petal of Renault's design strategy, a symbol that stands for dynamic performance, robust strength and a taste for adventure.
The KWID's SUV-inspired design is an innovation in its segment.
Its short front and rear overhangs and high ground clearance (180mm) exude an impression of strength and reliability.
At 3.68 meters long and 1.58 meters wide, KWID is ideally for zipping about in urban traffic, while its high-up driving position provides greater visibility for more relaxed journeys.
"At first glance, the KWID blends an emotional design with the need for reassurance expressed by customers. Its SUV lines mirror its tough, robust character and underpin its distinctive, modern look."
Laurens van den Acker - Senior Vice President, Corporate Design
The KWID's upright front end and short front and rear overhangs provide owners with the look associated with SUVs.
The bold, structured grille design highlights the logo and further emphasises the model's SUV credentials, while the head lights incorporate the brand's new lighting signature including a 'C'-shaped chrome trim.
The KWID's interior carries over the same confidence-inspiring styling as the exterior. Its distinctive appointments suggest status without neglecting everyday needs.
The horizontal, uncluttered lines of the dashboard convey an impression of width and feature the cues associated with higher-end segments.
The digital instruments and chrome air vent surrounds create a modern, high-quality feel.
The dashboard also harmoniously houses the centrally-positioned multimedia system.
Designed by Renault Design India, the interior trim is reassuring and status-enhancing.
The slightly sculpted sides provide a fluid, dynamic touch, with the rectangular forms of the black wheel arches providing another pointer to the KWID's SUV breeding, as well as additional protection. The lower door decor underlines the KWID's robust character. The steeply-raked, forward-positioned windscreen lends a sense of movement and fluidity to the high waistline which rises slightly at the rear.
The large windows ensure good visibility for the driver and play a big part in travelling comfort.
"The KWID is an entirely new car which offers a lot of surprises both inside and out, including features from the next segment up."
David Durand - Head of KWID Styling
Features new to the A-mini segment
The KWID offers a modern, intuitive interior
The piano black centre console comes with a chrome-surround and houses the Media-Nav multimedia/navigation system which comes with a seven-inch (18 cm) display, an unprecedented size for the segment.
The KWID's connected interior includes technologies that not only meet drivers' needs but also make driving simpler.
The user-friendly Media-Nav system includes the radio and Bluetooth technology for hands-free telephony which contributes to safer driving.
These features correspond to the needs of Indian customers who are looking for status and connected technologies.
Thanks to its specific architecture, the KWID combines a compact footprint (length: 3.68m) with a spacious interior that sets the standard in its category for all five occupants. The front seats are generously sized and the rear seats are particularly comfortable.
The KWID has a very spacious boot for a best-in-class load capacity.
The KWID, the latest step in Renault's international growth strategy
The KWID sees Renault launch a global car, made for easy living and a new way to go motoring. Built on a brand new platform common to Renault and Nissan, the KWID reaps full benefit from the Alliance's pooled resources and expertise. The new model vehicle is adapted to the specific needs of markets like India and will enable Renault to push ahead with the deployment of its international expansion strategy.
Based on a new Renault-Nissan Alliance platform
Founded in 1999, the Renault-Nissan Alliance sold 8.5 million vehicles in almost 200 countries in 2014, consolidating its position as the world's fourth largest vehicle manufacturer.
The Renault KWID is the first Renault-Nissan Alliance model to use the CMF-A platform.
Thanks to this platform-based approach, the Alliance will be able to go further still in the development of an international, flexible product offering based on component sharing and high-performance architectures.
Like all the Alliance platforms, the CMF-A is extremely flexible. As a result, exterior styling and the powertrain can be varied significantly in order to match the specific requirements and preferences of customers in Renault's international markets like India.
"The CMF-A platform opens up new horizons in terms of our ability to satisfy and even exceed the expectations of customers in countries where demand is currently highest, particularly those customers buying a vehicle for the first time. (...) These influential consumers do not want a car that was initially designed for mature markets before becoming outdated. They aspire – and rightly so – to a modern, robust, elegant car at a price that represents a mini-revolution for such a remarkable vehicle."
Arnaud Deboeuf - Alliance Senior Vice President of Renault-Nissan BV and Alliance CEO Office
Customer-focused development founded on complementary expertise
Renault went further down the road in terms of its organisation, cost management and delivery times to design and manufacture the KWID, a model with a global calling.
The process made use of resources and staff in France, Japan, Korea and India.
For example, vehicle testing took advantage of the Alliance's strengths by using different establishments to put the KWID through its paces: the body and chassis were tested in Japan, body equipment was evaluated in Korea and endurance tests were carried out in France, while India was the backdrop for overall and assembly testing.
The vehicle was developed close to its market. Supplier sourcing in India has been raised to 98%, including 60% in the Chennai region.
The project management team put in place the conditions necessary to develop the KWID, with the entire team working out of a single location so that the teams tasked with designing, developing and building the car could work together more effectively.
Methodologies throughout were harnessed to ensure the car would be in phase with market needs and meet pricing targets.
A strategy based on expanding international markets
Groupe Renault is active in 125 countries and sold 2,712,432 vehicles worldwide in 2014. As a result of this international strategy, Renault now sells 46% of its vehicles outside of Europe, compared with 37% in 2010.
Renault is pursuing its strategy to build vehicles close to its markets with 36 production sites and more than 12,000 points of sale worldwide.
Renault has regional engineering centres based in strategically important countries in order to take account of local needs (flex fuel engines in Brazil, extreme cold in Russia, etc.).
Furthermore, with five design centres around the world (France, Brazil, Romania, Korea and India), the Group is able to take account of local parameters when designing and adapting its products to meet specific requirements, such as colours and materials.
Following the revelation of the KWID Concept, the first Renault concept car to have been unveiled outside of Europe (New Delhi Motor Show in February 2014), Renault is staging the world premiere of the KWID in India. The KWID is a strong illustration of Renault's growth ambitions on international markets.
The KWID mirrors Renault's vision of the motor car... innovative, attractive and affordable. This vision is expressed by the brand's new « Renault – Passion for Life » tagline
Renault has been around for more than 115 years, during which time it has pioneered a wealth of innovations intended for use by all motorists.
Today, Renault is continuing to innovate and develop technologies that stay one step ahead of customer requirements, as illustrated by its comprehensive range of electric vehicles.
This clearly-stated commitment reflects Renault's customer-focused approach which seeks to make innovations even more readily available, bringing them within the reach of the greatest number. For Renault, innovating primarily means designing the best products and services possible and making them an affordable reality.
As the inventor of the 'Voitures à Vivre' concept, Renault has acknowledged know-how in the city car segment. This expertise is now expressed in the brand's new tagline: 'Renault - Passion for Life'.
Over the years, Renault has created numerous city cars that have reflected the changing face of society through their design and technical specification, introducing technological innovations that have simplified life for their owners, from remote central locking and automatic boot-opening to hands-free cards, etc.
Meanwhile, Renault's expertise as an engine manufacturer in Formula 1 has enabled the Group to develop a wide range of powertrain innovations that have played a part in bringing down the fuel consumption of production models.
Renault is also reputed for conceptual innovations such as sliding rear bench seats, tipping seats and flat floors for everyday versatility.
From the outset, Renault forged a reputation for making 'Voitures à Vivre', in other words cars that are innovative, ingenious, versatile and comfortable. Since 2012, these Renault hallmarks have combined with a desire to appeal to customers' emotions, a shift that called for a fresh approach to vehicle design.
"Our new tagline 'Renault – Passion for Life" mirrors the in-depth design transformation pioneered by the latest-generation Clio. More than a signature, it expresses a promise to our customers. Our models are developed with passion by our engineers and designers to make people's lives easier and more enjoyable."
Michael van der Sande - Senior VP, global marketing
Renault's ambition is to develop mobility in its international markets. Like all volume vehicle manufacturers, Renault markets a comprehensive range of vehicles to meet the needs of customers the world over. However, Renault stands apart from other brands for its visionary strategy based on bold objectives and a commitment to mobility for all in its international markets.
Renault has a proven ability to develop vehicles tailored to all markets, with the Duster for example, by designing the practical products customers need.
This approach has also enabled Renault to be competitive by reducing costs, shortening development times and offering more attractive products, while at the same time paying attention to the functions and content that customers want.
Today, Renault and its partner Nissan are going even further by investing in the CMF-A platform which will provide the basis for a new range of modern vehicles targeting the greatest number.
Thanks to a combination of unprecedented features for the segment, attractive SUV styling and intuitive equipment, the KWID personifies the brand's values as a model designed with passion with the intention of enhancing the lives of its owners.
Renault's ambitions in India
India is one of Renault's priority markets, along with Russia, Brazil and China. With a staff of more than 12,000, the Group has a strong local base there enabling it to adapt more effectively to local realities and requirements.
The KWID is an illustration of Renault's ability to develop vehicles that make everyday life easier by meeting the needs of customers looking for a stylish vehicle that is robust and easy to drive. The KWID's design and innovative features are poised to play an essential role in Renault's ongoing expansion in India.
A high-potential market
With a vehicle ownership rate currently standing at just 20 per 1,000 inhabitants compared with 105 in China, 300 in Russia and 600 in Europe, the Indian automotive market is expanding rapidly. In 2014, sales increased by 3.1% to reach 2,537,892 vehicles and volumes are expected to be around 5 million by 2020. As a result, India could become the world's third biggest market by the end of the decade.
Renault's ambition is to increase its share of the Indian market from 2% to a mid-term 5%.
More than ever, the emerging young middle classes see mobility as a way to escape the constraints of the public transport system, gain a degree of freedom, display their social success and have a safe means of transport for their family.
In a market where the A2 and A3 segments account for the bulk of sales (the A segment currently accounts for more than 30% of retail sales), a growing number of customers are keen to own larger, higher-end models.
Against a backdrop of rapid urban development, customers in India are looking for more connected, sophisticated cars that are reassuring and designed for family use. The KWID meets these requirements.
A strong base and a fast-expanding network
Since arriving in India as an independent brand in 2010, Renault has established itself as a highly dynamic player in the automotive sector.
Renault has placed the emphasis on local presence and local content by setting up an operational base for the Alliance, with a production plant in Chennai, along with the Renault-Nissan engineering and purchasing centre and the Technical Business Centre India (RNTBCI). The design centres in Mumbai and Chennai, and logistics hubs in Pune and Chennai reveal the brand's determination to establish a strong long-term presence in the country. The Mumbai design centre was the first to be opened in India by a foreign vehicle manufacturer in 2007.
Renault has an extensive network of dealers covering over 80% of India, in 120 cities. This fast-expanding network increased from 14 dealers in mid-2011 to 157 at the end of 2014. It is expected to reach 205 dealerships by end-2015.
An increasingly acclaimed brand
In 2010, Renault announced a strategy to bring five vehicles to market in this country.
The Fluence and Koleos were launched in May and September 2011 respectively. Then, in January, July and September 2012, Renault rolled out the Pulse, Duster and Scala.
Renault sold nearly 45,000 vehicles in 2014, compared with 1,500 in 2011. In the space of just a few years, Renault has made greater gains in terms of recognition and visibility than rival brands present in India for 10 years.
Today, Renault ranks as the number one European make and number nine overall in India for vehicle sales. The Lodgy's recent launch in April 2015 is expected to consolidate Renault's growth in the country.
"Thanks to the Duster, Renault has become India's leading European brand. Following the launch of the Lodgy last month, and the warm welcome it received from the press, we are now taking the wraps off the KWID. We confirm that our medium-term objective is to earn a five percent market share in India, one of the key countries in Renault's international growth strategy. "
Bernard Cambier - Senior Vice President, Chairman of Africa-Middle East-India Region
Renault is more and more acknowledged in India where it has received 40 awards, including 31 for the Duster alone.
Renault won the title of Manufacturer of the Year in 2012.
The Duster won the Indian Car of the Year prize in 2013. Less than a year after its launch, the Duster also received the TNS Voice of Customer prize for the highest rate of customer satisfaction. Meanwhile, the Duster was runner-up in the JD Power Asia Pacific 2013 India rankings on initial quality. The company praised the remarkable quality of the Duster in a highly congested segment, with no fewer than 15 models in contention.