Are Hyundai Accents and Chevy Aveos a little too bling-bling for your wallet? How about a car that costs a fourth of one. No, we probably won’t get one in the US, as it’s hard enough to make a profit on the aforementioned $10,000 Korean subcompacts, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to be big on the world scale.
Making use of the lower-cost engineering and manufacturing fortitude of India, Nissan/Renault is looking at partnering up with Bajaj (most famous for two and three wheeled transportation in India), and they hope to figure out by 2010, can it be done for $2,500?
Are they serious? Well, actually this is just the next step in Nissan/Renault’s growth in developing countries which also includes China & Russia. They’ve already began selling the Logan, Renault’s low-priced world car under local carmaker Mahindra’s brand name in India. They’re also planning a new plant in Chennai in the next year or two to continue their growth. Let’s also not forget that India’s ambitious Tata has already announced plans for an under $3,000 by 2008. Why leave that niche alone to Tata?
While acknowledging price is the biggest challenge, Ghosn adds, “We don’t think we can develop a $2,500 car with our engineering center and manufacturing plants in a developed country, the frugal engineering and planning of the Indian people will be very helpful in making this car a reality.”
He also adds that Bajaj would be able to access technology, engines and other materials from Nissan/Renault for the project.
A $2,500 car could open up the open road to all different classes of buyers who may not have been able to consider four-wheeled transportation until now, whether in Moscow, Shanghai or Mumbai.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
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