Dacia Logan creator to head Renault’s entry-level car program in India
After watching the Tata Nano post sales in numbers smaller than its engine displacement, Renault allegedly gave up on its much-publicised intention to build a truly inexpensive car to rival it. But then, a month ago, reports re-surfaced that Renault was once again resuming work on a couple of entry-level cars for the emerging markets.
However, this time they are expected to work with their in-house partner Nissan. And that plan envisions offerings for €3,000 (Dhs 14,500) and another for €5,000 (Dhs 24,300), both of which would be plenty more clicks than the Nano.
And according to Reuters, the man in charge of the project is Gerard Detourbet, who has been in Chennai, India since August, working on the current program. Detourbet is known for leading the Dacia Logan project, and is considered Renault’s “low-cost car specialist.”
His current mission is reportedly codenamed ‘A-Entry’ and is expected to create a new architecture that will provide roominess beyond the vehicle’s price and class, and use an 800cc engine.
So, it is quite clear that Renault isn’t aiming at the Nano this time. But it will certainly open up the tight market to take on the products that make up almost 50% of India’s car market, like the Maruti Suzuki Alto and the Hyundai Eon.
Sources also say that out of the annual 2.6 million-strong Indian car market, Maruti Suzuki alone nabs one million registrations annually. Their offering, the Alto 800, begins at 244,000 rupees (Dhs 16,400), whereas the Eon starts at Rs 300,000 (Dhs 20,400) and the Chevrolet Spark at about Rs 316,000 (Dhs 21,200). So if Renault can nail its final price targets, it will just about bracket those three and be right in the heat of the game.
It is pretty obvious that Renault wants to get this car right and then ship it to other markets. Reports state that we’ll see the offspring of this programme for the first time at the 2014 New Delhi Auto Expo. And there is always the possibility that Renault will offer the new model in the Middle East, alongside the Logan and Duster.
What do you think?