Dacia Logan creator will build the $5,600 car in India for Renault

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 19, 2012

Renault’s rivals in India should be alarmed with the task that Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has given to Gerard Detourbet, who is responsible for the Logan. Detourbet is now working on an even less expensive vehicle program for India that can compete with very fuel-efficient companies like Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai.

If Detourbet succeeds, Renault will then have a new weapon with which to beat rivals in emerging markets around the world. Earlier this year, the 66-year-old Detourbet transferred to Chennai, India. He has been successful at creating a supplier network in India with a strong team of local executives, some of whom were stolen from the competition.

In a recent interview, Detourbet said that he doesn’t plan on “poaching” people but that these people from Suzuki and Hyundai tend to approach him.

He referred to India as a major auto market that could grow at a breakneck pace with unbelievably low prices. Suzuki certainly has a hold in India with models from its Maruti subsidiary beginning below 250,000 rupees ($5,600/3,550 euros) and making up for 1 million registrations a year in a market of 2.6 million.

In addition, Hyundai has made bold inroads lately with its Eon minicar, priced nearer to 300,000 rupees. Renault's new "sub-entry" architecture will introduce more spacious cars for a comparable price tag and lead to at least one additional model for Nissan.

The Chennai factory of Renault and Nissan already builds pricier vehicles like the Pulse and Micra subcompacts, accounting for a combined 3% market share in India for April-November.

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