Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault and Nissan, was today in Brazil to announce a range expansion. According to the press release, he said the following: “We expect to capture a significant percentage of the fast-growing SUV segment in Brazil. With three of our SUV models to be produced in Brazil, our confidence in this market is further confirmed.” He was referring to Kwid and Captur, that will also be produced in São José dos Pinhais beside the Duster. Really!
We have already spoken about the Kwid many times here at MotorChase. It is a 3.68 m long, 1,58 m wide and 1.48 m high car with a wheelbase of 2.42 m. The trunk can carry up to 300 l of luggage. It will be equipped with a 0.8 3-cylinder engine that generates 40 kW at 5,678 rpm and 72 Nm at 4,386 rpm, enough for the car’s light weight of only 660 kg, as well as a 1.0 3-cylinder that will apparently be developed by Renault. We are not very sure why, since Nissan already produces a very good 1.0 3-cylinder in Brazil. But how can Renault name a front-wheel drive entry-level car as an SUV? Well, that is the plan. And there is more to it.
We have mentioned already and Renault has confirmed the Kwid will come with side airbags as standard in all versions. Side airbags are standard in most cars in developed countries, but they are almost exclusive to larger models in Brazil. Not to an A-segment vehicle. Not even to B or C-segment cars, such as the Ford Focus. Equipping the little Kwid with side airbags may come as an excuse to price it at higher levels. After all, it is not an entry-level car, how could you say that? The side airbags are there to prove it… Be prepared for such a speech.
Concerning the other models, they would be more properly called crossovers (the Kwid not even this). The Captur Ghosn has referred to has nothing to do with the European version. It is, in fact, the Russian Kaptur, built over the same platform of the Duster, the M0. A cheaper and less refined platform, even if very cost-effective. Completing the new range, Renault will also sell the Koleos in the Brazilian market as an imported vehicle.
In his way to Brazil, Ghosn has also gone to Argentina to confirm a little increase in the US$ 700 million investment at the Santa Isabel plant. These additional US$ 100 million will help build there the Dokker, as we also have anticipated. Which will probably adopt the Kangoo name. Wasn’t it good when things were called by their precise names?