Renault Considers Kwid for Iran

Renault  Considers  Kwid for  Iran
Renault  Considers  Kwid for  Iran

Renault has said it is considering introducing a variant of its new Indian-built Kwid mini-crossover to Iran, a senior announced this week.

"The model has already drawn interest from potential Iranian partners," said Gerard Detourbet, the Renault-Nissan alliance vice president who developed the Kwid's new low-cost architecture. The vehicle has already seen rave reviews from New Delhi and Mumbai to name a few Indian cities.

"This kind of car could be a good match for the (local Iranian) market," Detourbet said in an interview.

"We have already presented the car to people and they are interested. But between the interest and the decision to do it, there is still some time."

French rivals Renault and PSA Peugeot Citroen acknowledge they will need to upgrade their outdated offerings to defend the strong market positions they enjoyed before sanctions were tightened in 2011.

Renault, whose Iranian sales of first-generation Logan sedans have dwindled, unveiled the Kwid in India in May based on Detourbet's "CMF-A" vehicle platform. Renault-Nissan eventually aims to exceed 1 million annual sales with several future models based on the new architecture.

Detourbet stressed that no decision had been made on new models for Iran or where they would be assembled, adding that plans would take "more than a month or two" to develop.

The Renault Kwid is an ideal vehicle for the Iranian market. If the vehicle parts were shipped to the country via Chabahar Port, then it would be more than likely the imported parts would be eligible for tax-free import status.

If the car makes it to Iran, comparing its price point in India, it would sell very quickly to Iranian buyers who have longed for a new inexpensive vehicle.

The Kwid is currently priced at 160 million rials in the Indian market ($5,000). In comparison, the Saipa Pride—produced in Iran since the mid-90s—costs 194 million rials, or just over $5,800 at the free market exchange rate. Kwid enjoys a huge competitive edge over Pride.

The Tribune contacted Renault Pars, Renault's local subsidiary company about the low-cost vehicle, and the company responded that they will make a announcement about their future vehicle lineup at a press conference later this week.

  Car Overview

Renault has been working on this model from a long time under the code name 'XBA'. The company claims that this model will feature some of the first-in-class features like driver side airbag (optional), a navigation system and a digital instrument cluster along with chrome accents on AC vents.

It has black colored protective claddings and wheel arch fenders along with side moldings, which gives it an appeal of an SUV.

The masculine front bumper is another aspect that emphasizes its robust looks. Coming to the insides, they look pretty simple and laden with standard features. However, its central console gets a glossy black treatment, which is the main attraction of the cabin. It has roomy insides, which is good enough to host at least five occupants.

At the same time, it also seems to have a decent trunk volume, which is essential for planning longer trips. The manufacturer has not revealed much about its features or specifications, which is increasing the curiosity of car enthusiasts.  According to the sources, this vehicle is going to be introduced with an 800 cc gasoline engine in India. It is expected that this mill may produce a power in the range of 45 to 50 bhp.

  Exterior and Interior

The attractive aspect of this vehicle is its front facade, where it has a bold radiator grille embodying the company's insignia on it. This facade has a lot of design elements of Duster SUV, which is the reason for its sporty appeal.

At the same time, it carries standard cosmetics like black-colored ORVMs, door handles and B-pillar strips.

The internal cabin of this upcoming hatchback looks spacious with good shoulder and headroom. The Kwid has a dual-tone color scheme along with red accents on seats. The fabric used for the seats looks velvety than a good quality cloth. It is the first vehicle in its class to have a digital instrument cluster, which is an added advantage. Its central console has a high gloss black accent. Its steering wheel, along with the AC vents, has chrome accents, which makes it look more upmarket.