Renault India is gearing up big time in India now after its first stint with Mahindra failed miserably with the Dacia Logan. The French carmaker will now take help from its partner Nissan Motor and launch a slew of new vehicles that should help both the brands create a stronghold in the Indian market. Renault are already advertising, through various channels, their intent of setting up dealerships and service networks across the country before they roll out their new vehicles. Learning from the slow start that their partners Nissan had in India, Renault wishes to secure a proper sales and service network to attract the market to their products. As we told you earlier, Renault’s immediate plans include the introduction of the Fluence executive sedan and the Koleos premium SUV. But since these two vehicles will attract a high sticker price, Renault will look at introducing more cost effective options to get the cash counters rolling consistently.
Artist Impression of the 2012 Renault Nissan Bajaj Ultra Low Cost car
One of the key cars for Renault’s new innings would be the ULC or Ultra-Low-Cast car that is being developed between Bajaj, Renault and Nissan. The project kicked off during the 2008 Auto Expo and after a lot of speculations and rumors questioning the future of the said ULC, it has finally been confirmed that the Nano competitor is indeed under development. As per various statements issued by various personalities from the three companies in the Joint Venture, it is confirmed that the ULC will be manufactured by Bajaj in Chakan and could be sold via dealerships of all the three brands. The car was targeted to cost $2500 (Rs. 1,25-lakh) for the base model, however, with the rising raw material and manufacturing costs, we expect the car to nudge the 2-lakh rupee range when it rolls out next year. The ULC will not only face tough competition from the current players of the small car market, but more so from the Tata Nano and the upcoming Hyundai H800 city car. Continue Reading>>>
At a notch higher than the ULC will be 3.5-5.5-lakh rupee small car. This vehicle will be an all new small car from Renault and will be based on the versatile V-platform. It is the same platform around which the recently launched Nissan Micra is built. While the Micra uses a chic, cute styling, the Renault V-platform small car will use a more aggressive/radical looking design to match the rest of the cars in Renault India’s lineup. The car will be powered by the same engines that propel the Micra – the 1.2-litre petrol mill and the 1.5-litre diesel engine that will power the Micra diesel early next year.
Next in line in the V-platform sedan. Nissan’s version of this vehicle is already being tested in China (top). Currently known in the automotive circles as the upcoming ‘Micra sedan’, this car will be Nissan’s first offering in the entry-level sedan segment of the Indian market. Renault’s version of the V-platform sedan will play second fiddle to the Micra sedan and will position itself in the 5-7.5-lakh rupee bracket. Both the cars will be powered by the same set of engines, however it is too early to speculate as to which engines will make it to India. This car will bride the gap to the Renault Fluence.
Sitting over the Fluence on the price point number line is the Dacia Duster. The car has been speculated to come to India for quite some time now and a few samples of this SUV had also done the initial testing rounds for the feasibility study. The Dacia Duster could be introduced by late 2011 or early 2012.