The camouflaged Renault Triber was a right-hand-drive unit as in India
The Renault Triber was conceptualized as an India-specific product by the French automaker. It was later expected that its sales would be expanded to other emerging markets that also have a demand for a compact and affordable MPV. However, the European market was never thought to be on the radar.
In an interesting turn of events, a camouflaged Renault Triber was recently spotted in Europe (presumably France). From our understanding, the unit would have reached the European continent for testing. It was a right-hand-drive model as well. We had spent considerable time with the Renault Triber (now in BS6 format) during its launch and we don’t think it can make the cut to suit the requirements of an average European buyer, at least not in its current avatar.
Additionally, the stringent safety and emission norms of the European continent will further become a challenge for the subcompact or sub-four-metre MPV to qualify. The most pragmatic explanation for the test mule’s presence in Europe is some internal testing purposes and not homologation.
Talking about the Triber, it is based on Renault-Nissan’s CMF-A+ platform. Till now, neither company has given any indication to introduce the CMF-A+ platform to Europe or other developed markets. Of course, the test mule in Europe tells a different story. The same platform will underpin two subcompact crossovers (or “compact SUVs”) on the Indian market: Renault Kiger and Nissan Magnite. Renault India is counting on the Triber to boost its slowing sales in the country. After the Duster and Kwid, the Triber is the third product from Renault which has shown decent initial traction in our market. Across the Indian automotive industry, sales have been poor in the last three months due to COVID-19 lockdown.
The Triber is manufactured only at Renault-Nissan’s Alliance plant in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It is produced for domestic sales and limited exports to South African and SAARC markets. Upon launch, the Renault Triber was solely available with a manual transmission. Last month, the company introduced its AMT version.
Interestingly, the Renault Triber does not have a direct competitor but several alternatives. India’s MPV market is led by players such as the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, Maruti Suzuki XL6, Toyota Innova Crysta and Mahindra Marazzo. All these products are priced at a premium compared to the Triber. Renault India figured out that this price gap was a lucrative spot and aimed to dominate it with the Triber’s debut. The Triber is promoted as a family car which can further be converted into an MPV. It is a prime example of efficient automotive packaging.