French carmaker Renault unveils 800cc compact Kwid

French carmaker Renault today unveiled an all-new 800cc compact car in India, the Kwid. To be priced between Rs3-4 lakh, vehicle will take on Maruti's best-seller Alto and Hyundai's Eon.

According to Renault boss Carlos Ghosn, the new car would have localisation of 98 per cent and was expected to emerge as the driver model for the French car maker in India.

The company hoped that the Kwid followed the footsteps of its Duster SUV, which managed to garner respectable volumes in the market.

The car will be launched in the festive season towards the end of the year.

While safety features like air bags will not be a standard, customers would have an option to have one air bag if they were ready to pay for it.

According to Ghosn, the car would be "competitive". He added, a lot of efforts had been made to give it a distinctive design edge, including having "SUV like" cues.

The car had been developed by Renault's engineering teams in India, France and Japan and this was the first vehicle built on the Renault-Nissan's 'CMFA' platform.

Ghosn added India was one of the key markets for Renault and the company expects to have a 5-per cent share against the little over 1 per cent at present.

The SUV shaped small car has been developed at an investment of around Rs2,000 crore. Renault plans to make India a regional hub for exporting the new car.

"The Kwid will be a game changer and it will be at the entry-level segment that accounts for 25 per cent of the Indian car market today," Ghosn said in Chennai after unveiling the car.

"Renault Kwid will be a big contributor to our India growth story first, secondly in other emerging markets and then globally," Ghosn said.

Sounding upbeat about the prospects for the Kwid, Ghosn said currently, the products available at the entry-level segment offered either affordability or attractiveness or innovativeness, but the Kwid would offer all of three attributes.

"We can make India a regional hub of exporting the car to neighbouring countries and to some markets in South East Asian countries," he said.

Car sales in India in financial year 2015 logged 18,76,017 units as against 17,86,826 units in the previous fiscal, up 4.99 per cent, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).