French carmaker Renault broke the mould for budget hatchbacks in India when it introduced the Kwid, with its chunky, crossover-like stance back in 2015. Although sales of the Kwid have tapered off recently, Renault’s small car did get off to a cracking start with design becoming a key differentiator. So it’s no surprise that Renault’s senior VP, corporate design, Laurens van den Acker, believes that in emerging markets such as ours, design plays an increasingly important role in determining a car purchase.
“I’m convinced that for an Indian customer the buying of a car is such an important transition in their life; a car has so much status and so much impact that it reflects back on the family; and it has to be a respected choice, otherwise he won’t buy it. It also has to have a positive image, otherwise he will not make the investment,” he told Autocar India in a recent interview.