From between mid-2011 and mid-2013 in India, Renault SA will be launching five cars, including small cars in 2012, according to the head in India, Marc Nassif. Renault is doing this to cope with the demand in one of the world's fastest growing automobile markets. On the sidelines of an automobiles conference, Nassif said that the small cars will be built on a platform from its alliance partner Nissan Motor Co.
Production, which will be done jointly with Nissan, will be at Renault's factory in the southern Indian city of Chennai. Nassif added that these cars will be branded as Renaults and will be priced competitively. Renault aims to introduce its Fluence sedan and the crossover Koleos in India in 2011.
Furthermore, Renault-Nissan is collaborating with Indian two-wheeler maker Bajaj Auto to build a low-cost car that Bajaj will design and that will be launched by late 2012. This year, Renault sold its stake in a joint venture with utility vehicles and tractor maker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., which made the Logan sedan.
Renault, on its own, now seeks to compete in the subcompact car market in India. Nissan's compact Micra cars started selling in India in June. Nissan is 44% owned by Renault.
India's compact car segment is participated in by cars that have a length of between 3400mm to 4000mm. This segment, which accounts for over 70% of the total car market, has been rapidly expanding.
Maruti Suzuki dominates this segment but it had better be prepared as global carmakers, including Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co., General Motors Co., Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Co., have shown interest in this profitable sector. So far this year, sales of GM's Chevrolet Beat and Ford's Figo compact cars have been very impressive.