Wednesday, September 26, 2012
By Manoj Kumawat
Nissan says no to ultra low cost car project alliance with Bajaj
The fate of the long drawn project – Ultra Low Cost car is finally in tatters now. Nissan has said that it has no plans of a future stake or partnership with Bajaj Auto in the ambitious ULC project that proposed to bring in the ultra affordable car in India. The third partner Renault is yet to announce its stand but it seems that with Nissan putting itself out of the scene, it will also be doing the same. Also, now that Renault and Nissan are on their own way busy in launching one after the other car offerings in the country it seems that they are least interested in bringing a small car. Or is it that they have some objection with Bajaj in the game as it has launched the Bajaj RE60 just ahead of the Auto Expo which is on the similar lines of being an ultra low cost car.
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Initially, it was decided that Bajaj will be handling the design department for the ULC and Nissan- Renault will we giving the technical inputs. But following one reason or the other, the project could not bring some output and was scrapped. Now Nissan has said that it will not engage in any other such alliance with Bajaj. This also reflects that now Nissan will be doing everything on its own and why not when it has decided to launch the Datsun cars in the country. Datsun is a low cost car brand owned by Nissan and the Datsun cars will be highly affordable.
Now the ULC project will continue to be on papers only as there is no scope of anything concrete coming up by any of the three ULC alliance partners. Also, this has given a pause to any speculations regarding a car priced much below the Tata Nano or the upcoming Maruti Alto 800.