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Mahindra Renault unveils Logan

The JV between M&M and Renault of France launches the entry-level petrol variant of Logan, reports Ranju Sarkar.

autos Updated: Apr 03, 2007 23:27 IST

Mahindra Renault, the joint venture between Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Renault of France, on Tuesday launched the Logan in India. The entry-level petrol variant of Logan, which is being positioned as a roomier car than available choices, comes at an ex-showroom price of Rs 4.28 lakh in Mumbai (Rs 4.35 lakh in Delhi).

The mid-size sedan comes in two petrol versions of 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre engine that promises to deliver a fuel efficiency of 10-13 km to a litre while the diesel version with a 1.5-litre engine, will deliver 14-18 km to a litre and cost you Rs 5.47 lakh to Rs 6.44 lakh in Mumbai (Rs 5.54 lakh to Rs 6.51 lakh in Delhi).

The Logan, which is being positioned as a wide-bodied car (the manufacturers claim that Logan’s cabin is bigger than a Mercedez C-Class car) at an attractive value, will be targeted at people buying C-Segment cars like the Ford Ikon or the Tata Indigo but will also try attract people buying B-segment cars like Santro.

The fully-loaded diesel variant at Rs 6.51 lakh could appeal to many customers, including those buying a Honda, said a Mumbai-based auto analyst, who didn’t wish to be identified. The Logan is being targeted at families that want roomy interiors; the rear seat offers a head-rest for the middle occupant. It also offers a big boot space (510 litres).

Initially, the car will be launched in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Nashik, Chandigarh and Ludhiana, where bookings will start on April 10 and the cars will be delivered in a month’s time. In the next phase, it will roll out the car to 15 other cities from April to August, and by November, the car will be available across the country.

“Our biggest challenge is how do we handle the bookings and deliveries,” said Rajesh Jejurikar, Managing Director, Mahindra Renault. It is a challenge because the existing plant in Nashik can produce only 50,000 Longans, and will have to slowly ramp up production. Initially, the Logan will be sold through 31 dealers in these nine cities; eventually it will have 120 dealers across the country.

For M&M, Logan’s launch marks an important milestone as it marks its entry into the most competitive segment of the country’s automotive market. The roomy sedan will offer consumers a whole new choice and create a new wave, said Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, M&M. The car has been re-engineered for India to create a right-hand version, a more powerful AC and changes in suspension and wiping system to suit Indian conditions.

The Logan’s launch also marks a key milestone for the French auto maker Renault as it seeks to expand its footprint. The Indian car market will be 2 million by 2010, and is growing at 10 per cent a year. It offers a significant opportunity for growth and profitability, said Carlos Ghosn, President & CEO, Renault SA, considered the best auto CEO having turned around Nissan.

Renault has sold over 454,000 Logans in 51 countries. The car has been launched with a local content of 50 per cent, with key parts like engines being imported from Renault’s factories in Romania and Spain. Renault plans to set up a transmission factory as part of the new facility to produce 5-lakh cars a year.

First Published: Apr 03, 2007 23:24 IST