Tuesday, May 24, 2011
By Pranjal Gera
Renault speculated to draw from Bajaj for ultra-low cost car project
The ultra-low-cost car (ULC) project planned by the Bajaj-Renault-Nissan alliance is going through a tough time. The alliance was planning to come up with a car model which will be a straight competition to Tata Nano. The French partner in the team has started showing reduced interest in this ambitious project. Renault first showed its intention to quit this alliance on Monday by saying that the company will not assist the project further if the car planned does not meet the expectations and standards set by the company.
Addressing the issue, Renault India MD Marc Nassif said that the company will not support the ultra-low-cost car (ULC) project if the car does not meet the set standards. The comment was made at the big event of Renault Fluence sedan launch. Renault Fluence is the first product launched from the company’s stable after its separation from Mahindra & mahindra. The car is tagged between Rs 12.9 lakh and Rs 14.4 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
Nassif also said that the partners in the team dint have any formal venture but if the car manufactured by Bajaj meets the expectations, Renault will show a green flag for further work. On questioning about the company’s plan if the project is rejected, Nassif said that the company will look for other opportunities.
The project has been under problems since the formation of this partnership. The alliance is heard to be under dispute from time to time. Due to this difference in approach, the project has been hanging in limbo since past three years. The alliance was determined to come up with a first rival of Tata Nano.
The agreement as declared by Carlos Ghosn of Renault-Nissan, Bajaj was responsible of handling the R&D, design, development , sourcing and manufacturing of the car, and the selling and distribution will be handled by the foreign partners. The agreement was declared in the year 2009.