Bajaj’s small car venture on the rocks as Renault cribs... | autos | Hindustan Times
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Bajaj’s small car venture on the rocks as Renault cribs...

The Renault-Nissan and Bajaj collaboration on an ultra low cost small car project appears headed for splitsville. Sumant Banerji reports.

autos Updated: Sep 18, 2011 23:30 IST
Sumant Banerji

The Renault-Nissan and Bajaj collaboration on an ultra low cost small car project appears headed for splitsville.

France’s Renault told HT that Bajaj Auto has so far not shown the $2,500 (R1.12 lakh) car it has been developing for over 3 years.

Under the terms of the 2009 agreement, Bajaj was supposed to make the car and the Renault-Nissan alliance were to market and sell it in India. The car, seen as the first competitor to the Tata Nano, was slated to be launched in 2012.

“Bajaj keeps telling us the car is almost ready but they never show us what they have got,” said Jerome Stoll, executive vice-president sales and marketing, Renault.

“It makes me wonder what they are up to. We want a proper car and not just three wheels... (Bajaj also makes three-wheelers). We cannot keep waiting.”

Renault said it will not accept the productif it does not fit the company’s philosophy.

“At the start of the development (of the car), we told them clearly what the Renault DNA is and what it would take for the car to qualify to be marketed by us,” Stoll said. “It is a big thing for us to badge the car under our name so if it does not fit the bill, we will not sell it.”

(The author’s travel & stay was sponsored by Skoda Auto India.)