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Renault wants 20-fold increase in India car sales

media Renault Fluence Wikicommons/Thomas Doerfer

French carmaker Renault said in Tuesday it hopes to increase its India auto sales 20-fold in 2012 and plans to launch two more cars as it fights to gain a foothold in the country's vast automobile market. The company, which made a belated entry in the Indian market, sold 1,500 cars last year.


"We're late, but not too late," said Renault India managing director Marc Nassif, speaking at the launch of the 22,500 euro diesel version of its premium executive sedan Fluence it began selling last year in India.

The Fluence joins Renault counterparts the Koleos, a high-end sports utility vehicle and the premium compact Pulse on Indian roads.

In 2010, Renault abandoned its previous attempt to crack the Indian market with an agreement with India's top sports utility vehicle maker Mahindra and Mahindra.

Renault India says it is now going solo and attacking the market from the top down, launching in the premium segment even though most car sales are in the small segment.

"We're coming to India on the fast track with our five car launches in 15 months," said Nassif.

The Indian market is overwhelmingly dominated by the Japanese-controlled group Maruti Suzuki while other foreign auto makers such as GM and Toyota have also established a strong presence in the country of 1.2 billion people.

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