18th March 2015 UPDATE: Renault India has stated that the information posted by Business Standard is incorrect. Speaking about the report below, the company says, “This is incorrect. Renault India has not stopped production of Pulse and Scala. The company has in fact launched 2015 Pulse with exciting new features, competitive pricing and attractive finance options.”
23rd February 2015: Low Renault Pulse and Scala sales and piling stocks have resulted in French automaker Renault shutting production of both the cars. As per SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers), it was in May 2014 that Renault India last produced 183 units of Scala while in October 2014, 59 units of Pulse rolled off production channels.
This means, Renault India has not produced a single variant of Scala in 8 months, and that of Pulse in 4 months. What is surprising is that the company will continue to keep the production shut for a few more months, as they still have enough stock.
So is there a possibility for Renault to phase out Pulse and Scala completely? Well, Renault India plans facelifts of these two models in a few months and hence there are no indications of phasing out either. Low Renault Pulse and Scala sales, along with piling stocks both at company plant and at dealer showrooms is the only reason for stalling production.
Renault currently sells five models in India which include premium sedan Fluence, Koleos SUV, compact car Pulse and Scala sedan and the Duster. Pulse and Scala are re-badged versions of Nissan Micra and Sunny respectively. Majority of their sales are driven by Duster, which registers about 3,000 units every month. The others, manage sales in double digits every month.Offering heavy discounts on Scala and Pulse did not result in a sales boost.
During the period April to January 2014-15 there was a 53% drop in sales where the Renault Pulse was concerned with just 1,646 units sold during the period. Scala sales during the same period dropped 74% to 1,177 units while both these models operate in a segment which sees the Maruti Suzuki Swift at the top with sales to the tune of 20,000 units per month.
The stalling of production of Renault Pulse and Scala come following recalls of these two models made by the automaker in January. A total of 646 units produced during the period September 2011 and July 2012 were part of the recall due to faulty driver side airbags supplied by Japan’s Takata. Renault India also gears up for a host of new launches this year which will include the Lodgy and XBA small car.