The Euro-Asian Renault and Nissan Alliance will work with a third partner, India’s Bajaj Auto, to produce a super-low cost auto aimed at India’s emerging middle class – and targeting the Tata Nano, currently the lowest-priced model available on the subcontinent.
“We are aiming for a price of $2,500,” said Renault President and CEO Carlos Ghosn, a target that helps explain why the project has been delayed for several years. The three partners announced the program in 2008 and were hoping to be to market this year. Instead, it will now be delayed until 2012.
Bajaj Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj has agreed to move ahead, though his eponymous firm originally opposed the idea of focusing on a rock-bottom price. Instead, industry insiders say, his goal was to emphasize high fuel economy and low maintenance costs – even if the vehicle were to come in at a price higher than that of the well-publicized Tata Nano.