The French and the Japanese alliance partnership Renault-Nissan is reportedly planning on developing a small car specifically for the Indian markets. For this purpose, the company has also appointed Gerard Detourbet who is currently the head of its entry level division to oversee the Indian small car project. This small car is going to directly take on the largest selling vehicle, Maruti Suzuki Alto and the recently launched Hyundai Eon. The project, though is still at its conceptualization stage and is likely to come in the company’s second phase of new launches post 2012.
“40-50 % of the car market in India is at the entry level and going ahead too it will form onethird of the total car market. So, our entry is inevitable . And this is a step in that direction,” Sudhir Rao, COO, Renault India, said.
The small car to be developed is going to share its platform with both Renault and Nissan and will be manufactured at the Renault-Nissan’s manufacturing facility in Chennai. A team under the direction of Mr. Detourbet will be conducting a thorough feasibility and in-depth study on developing such a car for the Indian markets. Renault-Nissan also has plans to export the car to overseas countries where there is demand for small cars. Many experts have also commented off late that an entry level small car is a must in the portfolio if Renault-Nissan wants to make its strong presence in the Indian markets. Along with that, one key factor is the kind of dealer and service network that the company is having which decides the fate of the product among the Indian consumers. Renault should also focus on developing its dealer and service network to make such a car work well in the Indian market.