Sumit Sawhney will be the new CEO and Managing Director for Renault Group operations in India. Sawhney takes over from Marc Nassif, who moves to a global assignment within the group.
Renault SAS, France today announced the appointment, which will come into effect from February 1, 2014. Sumit will be responsible for managing the entire operations for Renault in India and will report to Gilles Normand- Chairman, Asia Pacific Region for Renault.
Sawhney joined Renault in India as Executive Director in September 2012 from General Motors. Sawhney has experience of 20 years in the Indian automotive industry and during his tenure in augmenting sales, marketing, after-sales business and network development for the company. He was also part of a major transition at the US car company, which saw sales surge in India. Sawhney has been instrumental in establishing the Renault brand in India and setting the company on a growth trajectory. In his tenure, Renault Duster has become one of the top selling SUV in the country.
In 2005, Renault established a 51:49 joint venture with Mahindra & Mahindra Limited to form Mahindra Renault Limited. In May 2007, the joint-venture launched the Renault Logan, produced at a manufacturing plant in Nashik, Maharashtra. Initially, the Logan met with considerable success but sales slipped with competition against newer models from Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors and Toyota. The Logan was criticised for its boxy looks and awkward ergonomics. Although built as a Right Hand drive vehicle for the Indian market, the Logan's ergonomics were configured for a Left Hand drive vehicle. In February 2010, Mahindra and Renault announced the dissolution of their joint-venture, with Mahindra buying out Renault's shares. Renault agreed to provide support to M&M through a license agreement as well as to supply key components and the Renault Logan became the Mahindra Verito. Following its exit from the joint-venture, Renault entered the Indian market on its own.