French carmaker, Renault is planning to introduce a compact passenger car in the Indian market that will be priced below Rs 4 lakh, which is a part of the company's global strategy. The company has also reported that the new small car will not be underpinned on the existing platform at the Renault-Nissan alliance plant in Chennai. But the company will be developing a whole-new platform for the new compact car in the same facility. The company's new offering will be pitted against the country's best-selling small car, Maruti Suzuki Alto and the latest entrant, Hyndai Eon.
“Beyond Rs 4 lakh a car is our playing ground today (in India.) We project to go below Rs 4 lakh.” Marc Nassif, country managing director, Renault India Pvt Ltd said in a statement. “We have projects for below Rs 4 lakh car. We will share details about that soon. It's not a project for India only, it's a global project of Renault.” Nassif added.
While the new small car will be priced below the Rs 4 lakh bracket, it will be also be positioned above the Rs 2 lakh segment. “In India you have Nano priced below Rs 2 lakh. I do not know who and how some will go there. About 50 per cent of the market in India consists of car priced between Rs2-4 lakh. We are not in this segment and will definitely like to be in this segment.” Nassif said.
Speculations are also rife about a petrol variant of the company's small car, Renault Pulse, the diesel version of which was launched in January and is priced between Rs 5. 77 lakh and Rs 6.25 lakh.
The carmaker Renualt, which entered India in 2005, had promised to introduce five new models by the year 2012. And staying true to its promise so far, the company had launched the Fluence Sedan in 2010 followed by the Koleos SUV in September and Renault Pulse in January 2012. The next in line is the Duster SUV and a new sedan based on the small car, Pulse that is expected to launch in the Indian market in the second half of 2012.
Once all the five models from Renault have entered the Indian market, the company will concentrate on achieving sales figure of one-lakh cars by 2013-14. Renault also aims to open 100 new company outlets by the end of 2012.