Tuesday, September 27, 2011
By Pranjal Gera
ULC car development by Bajaj-Renault-Nissan is going on : Nissan
At the launch occasion of Japanese auto manufacturer Nissan’s ‘Sunny’ Sedan, Mr. Giles Normand Vice-President Corporate (India, Africa & Middle East) confirmed to the media, that the ULC (Ultra Low Cost) project involving French automaker Renault and Indian vehicle constructer Bajaj Auto is still in the pipeline. Nissan Motor Company Vice-President Corporate (India, Africa & Middle East) Giles Normand said “We have been holding discussions…the next round of the announcement will be a joint announcement,” When one of the correspondent asked regarding the time of the shared announcement, Normand refused to provide any definite date, saying “We will let you know at the right time.”
There were reports of the ULC project being axed in the start of the third quarter, as the Indian auto major felt that the mini-car plan was commercially unviable. Bajaj Auto’s senior vice-president for business development Mr. S. Ravi Kumar had to clarify that the statement of shelving the ULC project was just a rumor. Bajaj has planned to display the ULC car to Renault-Nissan in January 2012. Hence the mutual announcement can be expected approximately by January 2012. If the mini-car meets their norms, then only Renault-Nissan will settle on whether to take-off with the commercial construction and sale of the vehicle or to completely axe the project.
An MOU (memorandum of understanding) was signed between Renault-Nissan alliance and Indian two-wheeler manufacturer Bajaj Auto to develop an ultra low-cost car for India and other upcoming markets and had intended to launch it in the year 2012. As per the agreement between the companies; Bajaj is been vested with the responsibility to design, manufacture and provide source for the car while Renault-Nissan being the experts in the strategic marketing would handle the same in India and overseas.