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Nissan, Renault CEO says mulling $3,000 car in India

Nissan, Renault CEO says mulling $3,000 car in India
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First Published: Wed, Jun 20 2007. 01 56 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Jun 20 2007. 01 56 PM IST
Yokohama, Japan: Partners Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA are studying the feasibility of a $3,000 car to compete in India against Tata Motors Ltd.’s planned low-cost car, CEO Carlos Ghosn said on 20 June. “We will be part of this competition,” Ghosn, who heads both Nissan and Renault, told reporters after Nissan’s annual shareholders meeting, stressing that the race to offer ever-more affordable cars was heating up in the industry.
“We are investigating, at the level of the alliance, how we can make a $3,000 car,” he said, adding the companies were in the process of gathering information to see how and whether it could be done. He said the partners had no specific time frame to conclude the study.
The car, if deemed possible, would likely be built with an Indian maker and sold in India’s fast-growing market, he said.
Tata Motors, India’s top truck and bus maker, has said it would launch a “one-lakh”, or Rs100,000 ($2,500) car next year to create a new market for the millions of consumers who can only afford motorcycles now.
Maruti Udyog Ltd., majority held by Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp., is by far the top seller of cars in India now, but many industry watchers expect Tata to steal the spot when its much-hyped car comes to market.
“The very likely situation is, if we build a car like this, it will be done in India because the suppliers are there, the plants will be there, and the environment in India would be very favourable to a frugal product definition and to frugal engineering and manufacturing,” Ghosn said.
Carmakers around the world, from Toyota Motor Corp. to Volkswagen AG, are all trying to come up with a super-low-cost car to compete more effectively in eme3 5473 3744))
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First Published: Wed, Jun 20 2007. 01 56 PM IST
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