Renault India to launch 5 new cars in next 3 yrs

Renault India to launch 5 new cars in next 3 yrs

New Delhi: French car maker Renault’s Indian unit will launch five cars between mid-2011 and mid-2013, including small cars in 2012, its India head said on Thursday, to cater to brisk demand in one of the fastest growing automobile markets in the world.

Its small cars will be built on its alliance partner Nissan’s platform, Country general manager Marc Nassif said on the sidelines of an automobiles conference.

The cars produced at its manufacturing unit in southern Indian city of Chennai, built jointly with its alliance partner Nissan, will be Renault-branded, Nassif said, adding that they would be competitively priced.

In 2011, the firm intends to introduce its premium vehicle Fluence and the cross-over Koleos.

Separately, Renault-Nissan is working with Indian two-wheeler maker Bajaj Auto to make a low-cost car, which would be designed by Bajaj and launched by end-2012.

Renault, which this year sold off its stake in a joint venture with utility vehicles and tractor maker Mahindra & Mahindra which made the Logan sedan, is all set to storm the compact car market in India on its own.

Nissan, which is 44% owned by Renault, has started selling its compact Micra cars since June.

The compact car segment in India, with cars measuring between 3.4 to 4 metres in length, is a rapidly expanding segment constituting more than 70 percent of the total car market.

Though top carmaker Maruti Suzuki still holds sway, global majors such as Toyota, Honda, General Motors [GM.UL], Volkswagen and Ford are eyeing this lucrative sector.

General Motors’ Chevrolet Beat and Ford’s Figo compact cars have already seen runaway sales so far this year.

Renault’s global sourcing from India is expected to rise 40% to 50% in the current financial year, Nassif said.