The Telegraph
Friday , August 27 , 2010
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Renault to drive in five cars

New Delhi, Aug. 26: Renault India plans to roll out five models, including a small car, in a span of two years from the middle of 2011.

“All the five cars, including the Fluence sedan, the Koleos sport-utility vehicle and the small car, will be produced at the Nissan factory in Chennai,” said Marc Nassif, country general manager of Renault India.

In addition to Renault’s small car, the trio of Renault, Bajaj and Nissan are developing a low-cost car whose prototype will be ready by early next year.

The low-cost car, which is scheduled to hit the market by 2012, is likely to cost around $2,500 (Rs 1,12,500).

The project had reportedly faced hurdles because of a lack of consensus among the partners.

It has now been agreed that Bajaj will be responsible for developing and manufacturing the car, while Renault-Nissan will manage branding and marketing. The car is seen as a rival to the Tata Nano.

“We will introduce the hatchback (Renault’s own small car) in the most competitive B segment and it will be rolled out in 2012. We may share a Nissan platform for launching the small car,” Nassif said.

Renault’s global sourcing from India is expected to rise 40-50 per cent in the current financial year.

“By 2013, when we would have launched all our cars, we expect to sell 75,000 units that year,” Nassif added.

Earlier this year, the company sold off its stake in a joint venture for the sedan Logan with utility vehicles and tractor maker Mahindra & Mahindra.

M&M, however, continues to produce and sell the Logan under a contract manufacturing agreement with Renault.

The compact car segment in India constitutes more than 70 per cent of the total market.

Though Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai hold sway, global majors such as Toyota, Honda, General Motors, Volkswagen and Ford are eyeing the segment.

General Motors’ Chevrolet Beat and Ford’s Figo compact cars have already seen very good sales.

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