Renault to sell 1 lakh cars by 2013-14
Marc Nassif, the till recently overweight managing director of Renault India, is down to 80 kg after losing 30 kg in the past six months. The next goal of the Cairo-born global citizen is to get the French auto giant's domestic operations, currently ranked way down at No. 13 with a 0.24% market share, into shape.
Nassif, who started his career with Renault in the US as an engineering trainee and went on to do stints in Mexico, France, Spain and Brazil, plans to add muscle to the India arm by touching sales of 1 lakh units by 2013-14 as well as pushing up the market share to 5% a year later.
"Renault India has a great product plan. The challenge will be to scale up the organisation, dealerships and deliver 1,00,000 vehicles a year. India needs to be among the top 10 markets for Renault by 2013," says the 50-year-old who now steers clear of carbs, sugar and fat.
Hitting those targets is a tall order, almost as difficult as keeping Nassif away from dal makhani and tandoori chicken, which he still relishes albeit in smaller quantities. After all, the French automaker sold just under 4,000 units in fiscal 2012. It hopes to do 30,000 units in the current calendar year, hitting sales of 1 lakh units a year later.
It's been a rough ride so far for Renault India, and for Nassif who has been associated with the local operation since 2007 when the French automaker had a joint venture with Mahindra & Mahindra.
The partnership broke up two years ago and Renault had to virtually start all over again. Three models launched since - the Koleos and Fluence at the higher end and the Pulse in the mass market - have not quite produced the desired objective of making Renault a high-recall brand in India.
Nassif does shrug and point out that he often hears consumers referring to the 'Renault' brand (as against the French way of saying it in which the 't' is silent). But he doesn't blink any longer when he hears the mispronunciation. If they are comfortable saying it like that, so be it as long as they buy the cars, says Nassif with a grin.