French automobile major Renault on Thursday launched its premium sports utility vehicle (SUV) Koleos and announced plans to introduce its hatchback, specifically designed for the Indian market, at the Delhi Auto Expo in January next.

Priced at Rs.22.99 lakh, Koleos comes with 2-litre diesel engine delivering a maximum power output of 150 PS and fuel efficiency of 13.7 km a litre. The stylish SUV is available in a 4x4 transmission mode with a six-speed automatic gear box, while it is loaded with several innovative safety and luxury features, including eight Bose speakers as a standard feature, a first in the Indian car industry.

“We made our debut in the Indian market with the premium sedan Fluence in May… The launch of Koleos is a step forward in our plans to introduce five cars in the Indian market by the end of 2012,” Renault India Managing Director Marc Nassif told journalists here.

First launched globally in 2008, Koleos has got its first facelift. India is the second market after China where the new Koleos has been introduced. It will be followed by Europe this month at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

“India is among the top three strategic markets for us along with Brazil and Russia…we have set a target to sell one lakh units by 2013. While we are now focussing on building our brand in India, we hope to be among the top three international brands in the country by 2015,” Mr. Nassif added. According to Renault India Vice-President (Marketing, Sales and Network) Len Curran,

“We are committed to providing value, globally benchmarked product and service quality, network and after sales service to our Indian customers. We have opened 14 dealers and will be adding 26 more by 2011-end. We expect to have around 100 dealerships in 55 cities by the end of 2012.”

Renault and its global alliance partner Nissan have committed an investment of Rs.4,500 crore by 2015 at the Chennai facility.

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