Renault's Kadjar for Europe, China

Renault's Kadjar for Europe, ChinaRenault's Kadjar for Europe, China

Renault is aiming to win new customers in its best-selling markets of China and Europe with the Kadjar compact SUV.

Kadjar will be the first Renault vehicle built at the French automaker’s new China plant, which is due to start production early next year. European production has already started in Spain.

With the crossover market booming in Europe and China, Kadjar is a huge opportunity to attract new buyers. The automaker hopes Kadjar will repeat the success of alliance partner Nissan’s top-selling Qashqai, with which it shares a platform, Automotive News Europe writes.

Alliance executives are not worried that the two models will cannibalize sales from each other.

There is “plenty of room for newcomers” in the segment, Renault Brand Director Guillaume Boisseau said.

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said there is little cross-shopping between the two brands.

Renault competes with European brands while Nissan’s rivals are mainly Japanese and South Korean automakers.  

The main difference between Kadjar and Qashqai is their design: Kadjar has a curvier look, is longer and wider.

If offered at the international price in the Iranian market, the car would be offered at around 1 billion rials ($28,000). However, considering the country's import tariff, the actual price by the time it reaches the forecourt could double.

Renault has also been upping its operations in the Iranian market. However, it has not mentioned whether it will bring the Kadjar platform to the local auto market.

It has announced launching multiple new vehicles to test the market, including the Captur, Duster small SUV's and Fluence sedan.

The vehicle's name also has Persian roots, like the Nissan Qashqai named after the tribe that has its history in Iran. Kadjar is the French variation of the Persian word for the dynasty named Qajar, which was the ruling royal family in Iran from the 1700s to the turn of the 20th century.

The official reason for calling the car Kadjar remains to be seen. However, Wikipedia suggests that the dynasty's king was a fan of Renault and imported the first ones into the country in the early 1900s.

Kadjar Key Characteristics:

>Target buyers: Men in their 40s with families are likely to be the main Kadjar customers, Renault says.

>Safety equipment: High-end versions have LED headlights, parking assistance, blind-spot warning, reversing camera and emergency braking to help prevent low-speed accidents.

>Connectivity: Renault’s R-Link 2 is standard with voice recognition to control the navigation, telephone, apps and radio.

>Engines: It shares engines with the Qashqai. The exception is Renault’s downsized 130-hp 1.2-liter turbocharged gasoline engine.

>Main rivals: VW Tiguan, Nissan Qashqai, Ford Kuga, Hyundai ix35 and Kia Sportage are its main rivals.

>Local Sales

Renault Pars has announced it has boosted the sale of its cars by 2.5 times, registering over 3,000 cars imported during the current Iranian year.  

It announced that between January and April, it imported 3,050 cars. It did note that sales stopped in February but picked up later again in March.

The company noted that sales were higher than the same period last year when the company's sales to Iran were only 1,050.

Renault also said that overall sales to Iran for the last year stood at 36,300, which lodged a drop of about 9% year-on-year.

The country is aiming to boost its sales to its pre-sanctions peak of 2011 when it imported over 94,000 vehicles.