Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance plans LCV re-entry in India

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance has initiated a study to re-enter India’s fastgrowing light commercial vehicles (LCVs) market, two years after it ended the joint venture it had formed with Ashok Leyland.

The study is being conducted under the Renault brand and is expected to be completed in the next 12-18 months, Ashwani Gupta, commercial vehicles chief for the alliance, told ET.

He said the alliance covers over 90 per cent of the global LCV market and India is a missing piece in its global presence.

“India is the biggest market, which we have not touched yet. We have started studying the Indian market very closely, both internally and externally. We have a team in place, led by Sumit Sawhney, which will look into this,” said Gupta, adding that the team was in India last month to study the market.

Gupta said the way goods and people are transported in India is unique and the Franco-Japanese vehicle alliance needs to find the right entry point. The alliance has set itself a midterm target of growing by 40 per cent till 2022, and in 2018, it expects to cross 2 million units in sales.

Gupta said the alliance has a range of vehicle architectures, including the small architecture based out of Japan which may be suitable for India’s sub-1-2 tonne market. The Indian small commercial vehicle market is set to cross 1 million units in the coming years with demand for last-mile connectivity rising due to increasing urbanisation and growth in ecommerce.

Gupta said the alliance also has electric small commercial vehicles, which could play a critical role. India’s small commercial vehicle market is led by Tata Motors and M&M. Tata Motors’ ‘Ace’ dominates the sub-1to 1.5 tonne vehicles market with over 60 per cent share, while Mahindra is a dominant player in the pickup vehicles space

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