All manufacturers shy away from accepting that a model has failed to gain public acceptance because it has been used by fleet operators. Many models have been forcefully shoved down that path with prime examples being the Maruti ECCO, the Toyota Qualis, Tata Indica.
Renault is playing it very smart with its newly launched Lodgy which hasn’t found a lot of buyers. The car is very practical for transporting people from point A to B. Lodgy clocked a disastrous 271 units in August and recorded only 522 units the month before that. Comparing it with the segment leader, the Innova which sold 5,175 units in August and 5,449 units in July, the Lodgy seems to be crushed.
Mr. Sumit Sawhney, CEO of the Renault group in India said, “Currently Lodgy is number 3 in the segment, and the MPV is a rationale buy. For the fleet segment, we need a 7 seater, for the customer to get excise duty refund. So we’re going to launch the Lodgy 7 seater and should double our volume from the current 700 units to 1,400 units a month. We’ve started initial billing”.
At close to 4.5 metres, the Lodgy is a big car and the side profile gives a better idea of its proportions. It is based on the Duster platform with an extension at the back to accommodate the third row. The Lodgy badge is placed in trademark Renault style, embossed on a chrome plate, right in the centre above the number plate which makes the look more appealing for Lodgy.
The Lodgy is available with a 1.5-liter dCi diesel engine in power states of 85 PS and 110 PS. The 85 PS variant, which is likely to be offered for the fleet market, returns an efficiency of 21.04 km/l whereas the more powerful 110 PS does 19.98 km/l. The 7-Seater Renault Lodgy starts at Rs 8.29 lakh and might give for a few Toyota Innova’s operating in the ‘luxury fleet’ space.