Renault aims to sell 100,000 cars a year in India by the end of 2013, as the French automaker introduces its first model in the Asian country since exiting a joint venture with Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd last year.
The carmaker will introduce the Fluence sedan on May 23 in New Delhi and plans to sell as many as five models by December 2012, when it expects to have 100 dealers across the country, Marc Nassif, the Boulogne Billancourt, France-based company's general manager for India, said in a phone interview on Thursday.
"We'll try to deliver more and make the brand more visible," Nassif said. "We will grow from zero at the moment to 100,000 by the end of 2013."
Renault aims to capture at least 5 per cent of the Indian auto market by 2020 as it expects local vehicle sales to more than triple to 6 million a year. The Fluence will compete for customers with Toyota Motor Corp's Corolla model and Volkswagen AG's Jetta, Nassif said.
Toyota sold 10,707 Corollas in India in the year ended on March 31, according to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. Nassif declined to reveal the model's price before the introduction.
India's car sales growth may slow to 18 per cent in the year started April 1 due to higher prices and rising borrowing costs, Pawan Goenka, president of the auto-industry group, said on April 8. Sales surged 30 per cent, the most in at least nine years, to 1.98 million in the year ended in March, according to the group.
Toyota, the world's largest automaker, said in March it would raise Indian plant capacity 40 per cent to 210,000 cars a year by September because of surging demand for Etios, Corolla and Fortuner vehicles. Ford Motor Co intends to add eight models in the nation by 2015.
Renault will build the Fluence, the Koleos sport-utility vehicle and three other models including a hatchback, another SUV and a sedan in a plant it shares with affiliate Nissan Motor Co near Chennai in southern India. Nissan and Renault will double the plant's capacity to 400,000 cars a year by next year, Nassif said. Mahindra, India's largest maker of sport-utility vehicles, agreed to buy Renault's 49 per cent stake in a venture that made the Logan sedan in April last year.