From the moment the Renault Kwid arrived on Indian shores, we knew that it would be a hit. It had all that it needed to flourish in the Indian car market: stylish looks, a good amount of features, a peppy and fuel efficient engine and a small asking price.
But I doubt whether even Renault themselves could have foreseen just how well the Kwid was to sell here. After its initial launch in September 2015, the Kwid has now sold over 1 lakh units in the country. In this article, we take a look at the stellar run this little hatchback has had in India. When the car was launched last year, it had a price tag that stumped quite a lot of us: INR 2.57 lakhs. One of the biggest reasons that Renault could price the car this low was the fact that a staggering 98% of components required in its manufacturing were sourced locally. The vehicle was put together at the Renault-Nissan production facility situated in Oragadam, outside the city of Chennai.
The idea for a car that eventually went on to become the Kwid was given by Carlos Ghosn, the global CEO of the Renault-Nissan alliance, to Gerard Detourbet. He was tasked with creating an entry level hatchback that would cost USD 4000 for car markets in developing nations. The Kwid was first showcased to the public in its concept form at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo held at Greater Noida. When launched for the first time, you could purchase a Kwid only with an 800cc, 3 cylinder, 53 bhp petrol engine and a 5 speed manual gearbox. However, its higher-end trim levels had surprisingly a good amount of kit that included a touchscreen infotainment system, electric windows, power steering and so on.
Almost a year after the first Kwid went on sale, Renault introduced a more powerful engine for the car: a 1.0 litre, 3 cylinder engine that made 67 bhp. The company was quick to notice that many inexpensive cars were being outfitted with AMT gearboxes to bring the convenience of automatic cars within reach of the common man and, as a result, they recently began providing prospective buyers of the Kwid 1.0 with the option of choosing a 5 speed AMT gearbox as well. The reason for going in for an AMT instead of a proper automatic was obviously to keep the cost of the car as low as possible. Even now, the top end 1.0 litre AMT variant of the Kwid can be picked up for a price of INR 4.26 lakhs (ex-showroom, New Delhi).
Renault has stayed true to their word of providing a well-equipped small car which performs decently on both city roads and highways at a price that does not destroy your bank account. Details such as its fuel economy figure added to its desirability quotient. Thanks to a combination of all these aspects, the Kwid continues to be able to challenge stalwarts of the Indian budget hatchback segment including cars from Maruti, which is something that no other vehicle has been able to do. Seeing the huge demand that the Kwid continues to have, there is no doubt that this little car will continue its skyward sales performance in our country.