Renault India to launch Scala C-segment sedan by Diwali 2012
Renault India will launch its fifth product in the country, the Scala C-segment sedan, before Diwali 2012. The launch of this car pretty much rounds up the product range that the French brand had announced for the Indian car market a year ago. Once the Scana hits the market, in a span of about 18 months, Renault India would’ve launched no less than 5 new products, a record of sorts in a sense, especially for a foreign automaker making a debut in India. That said, two of these products are badge engineered, which means that they share most components with Renault’s alliance partner, Nissan.
While the Renault Pulse is a badge engineered Nissan Micra, the Renault Scala will be a brand engineered Nissan Sunny sedan. This process of badge engineering, that Renault India has been practicing involves restyling existing products in Nissan’s stable and selling it under the Renault umbrella. By minimal changes both on the exteriors and interiors, along with the feature set, Renault India hasn’t had to spend much money in developing these products. Also, the premium pricing that Renault has been positioning its products with has ensured that the badge engineered cars are quite profitable given that the Renault-Nissan production facility is a shared one, giving the French automaker more savings.
Coming to the 2012 Renault Scala sedan, apart from new styling and badging, the car is a Nissan Sunny whole and soul. The petrol and diesel engines will be shared and so will the feature set. However, the Scala is expected to be priced higher than the Sunny, in keeping with the strategy that Renault has been following all along. The 1.5 Liter HR15DE petrol engine outputting 100 Bhp-145 Nm and the 1.5 Liter K9K turbo diesel engine delivering 85 Bhp-200 Nm are expected to be used on the Scala sedan. ABS, EBD and Airbags will be the safety features on the top end variants.
The Renault Scala, like the Nissan Sunny, will come with spacious interiors, especially when it comes to the rear seat, replete with AC vents. This is one factor that has made the Sunny a very good option for cab operators and the same should hold good for Renault as well, in the bigger cities at least, where the access to Renault showrooms and service shouldn’t be an issue given that the brand intends to expand its reach to 100 dealerships by the end of this year. After the launch of the Scala, it would be interesting to see which new product Renault has in mind for India.