New Delhi: The Renault-Nissan alliance and Bajaj Auto Ltd have agreed to price the ultra low-cost car they are jointly developing at $2,500 (around Rs1.1 lakh) to take on Tata Motors Ltd’s Nano.
“In India, Renault and Nissan are developing an ultra low-cost vehicle with the Bajaj group, benefiting from its expertise in light vehicles and knowledge of the Indian market. We are aiming for a price of $2,500,” Renault president and chief executive officer Carlos Ghosn said at the auto maker’s annual general meeting on Friday.
Cost conscious: Renault chief executive Carlos Ghosn. Reuters
When asked if this is the agreed price range, Bajaj Auto’s managing director Rajiv Bajaj replied in the affirmative.
The partners have, thus, solved the tricky issue of pricing, which has been widely speculated as the reason for the delay in the project announced in 2008. While Renault wanted a low-cost car, Bajaj was keen on one that would have high mileage and low maintenance.
Originally, the car was scheduled to hit the market this year, but that has been postponed to 2012. It will take on the Nano, which is currently available in the price range of Rs1.23-1.72 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) for three variants.
During his India visit last year, Ghosn had announced the finalization of the project and said “as per the agreement, the design, engineering, sourcing and manufacturing will be handled by Bajaj Auto, while marketing and selling will be (done) by (the) Renault-Nissan alliance”.
He had, however, declined to comment on the pricing of the car.
Officials of the alliance had said the car will be smaller than MarutiSuzuki India Ltd’s Alto, which is the highest selling model in India.
The three partners in the project have been struggling to find engineering solutions to produce such a low-cost product.