American car maker Ford has gone one up over France's Renault to settle at the seventh position in the fast-growing Indian car market.
Renault now ranks eighth in the domestic car market as its volume has been under pressure for several months in a row.
Data for the first five months of 2018 shows that Ford sold about 44,000 units of passenger vehicles in the domestic market compared to the 36,000 units sold by Renault (these are wholesales to company dealerships).
In the year ending 2017, Renault had sold about 112,000 units in the country, way ahead of Ford’s 87,600 vehicles; Renault beat Ford in the 2016 calendar year as well.
The launch of Renault's Kwid, a crossover vehicle, in September 2015 had helped the company build steam and grab a higher market share in the Indian market, overtaking rivals to occupy the seventh spot. In a year (2015-16), Renault rose from the 11th position to the eighth overtaking competitors like Volkswagen, Ford and GM.
During the first half of 2017, the company further improved its rank to the seventh position but came under pressure during the second half of the year; it has not yet recovered since then.
Despite the industry's high single-digit growth, Renault's wholesales to dealerships have not grown for the past twelve consecutive months. Instead, the car maker experienced a double-digit decline in most of these months. Even sale volumes of the Kwid have stagnated as competition from new entrants, like Tata Motors' Tiago, gained pace.
The launch of its SUV Captur in November 2017 did not lead to any volume expansion whatsoever. The car has not even been able to match the volumes that the Renault Duster brings till date.
Ford has seen stable volumes for the last few years but the launch of the new EcoSport last year and the recent launch of the Ford Freestyle is helping it grow this calendar year.
Earlier this month, the president and managing director of Ford India Anurag Mehrotra said "Our continued focus on executing our strategic pillars of a strong brand, right products, competitive cost and effective scale have ensured our growth which continues to be better than the industry."