Renault’s small car for India

Bajaj Car

French auto major Renault’s proposed small car to be launched in India post 2013 will be positioned above the ultra low cost car (ULC) that Bajaj Auto is developing for it and alliance partner Nissan, according to a top company official.

“Bajaj’s (the ULC) will be much cheaper (compared to the small car that Renault is developing),” Renault executive vice president (Sales and Marketing) Jerome Stoll said.

Pune-based Bajaj Auto is developing an ULC to be tagged around $2,500, which will be marketed by the Renault-Nissan alliance and is scheduled to hit the market in 2012.

Stoll, however, said Renault’s small car project is still in the early stages and too premature to talk about details.

The company had earlier said that the small car is being designed to meet the requirements of the Indian market though it could be exported to similar global markets.

Renault is planning to launch five models between 2011 and 2013, including a premium hatchback. It will start with sedan Fluence and multi-purpose vehicle Koleos later this year.

“Considering the total market of India, we think there is a room for another small car, which can be more affordable than the one we are already planning to launch,” Stoll said.

Identifying India as one of the top three most important markets after Brazil and Russia for Renault’s global market development strategy, he said it is important for the company to deliver the right products at the right value here.

“The Indian car market is projected to be about six million plus by 2020 and the potential is very high here. We want to concentrate here and that’s why we are focussing in Indian instead of China,” he added.

The key for the company will be to deliver products, which provide a host of features that differentiate from rivals but at a price which is competitive.

“It is important for Indian customers to feel that he has got a good deal after buying a car, which is not necessarily cheap,” Stoll said, adding Renault’s efforts would be to address that requirement.

Globally, Renault had posted 14 per cent increase in sales touching 2.6 million units in 2010, with nearly a million units coming from outside Europe.

Stoll, however, declined to comment on what kind of sales the company is expecting from the Indian market.

The Renault-Nissan alliance is investing Rs 4,500 crore in setting up their plant in Chennai, which will have an annual capacity of four lakh units. Nissan is already rolling out its hatchback Micra from there.

Source – EconomicTimes