Monday, February 18

Bajaj-Renault small car plan soon

NEW DELHI: Two-wheeler major Bajaj Auto, which plans to develop a low-cost small car in partnership with Renault-Nissan, is expected to announce the final details of the project in a "few weeks". The small car project, which has been widely seen as an effort to rival Tata’s Rs one lakh Nano, was earlier pursued by only Bajaj Auto Ltd (BAL) and Renault and later joined by Nissan, in which the French firm has 44.4% stake. Asked by when a final decision on the project details was expected, BAL managing director Rajiv Bajaj said: "In a few weeks". When contacted, a Renault India official said presently, there were several teams from the alliance, covering different specializations, ‘who were working to decide on the viability of the project’. "At this stage, we are unable to comment on any date for the final agreement," the official further added. Last year, BAL and Renault had announced that they were in preliminary deliberations for exploring the small car project together. Since then, Nissan has also been roped in as a partner in the development programme. BAL had recently showcased its concept small car at the Auto Expo held in the capital. After Tata’s Nano was showcased, Renault chief executive officer Carlos Ghosn scaled down the targeted price of the alliance’s small car, hinting that the expected cost would be around $2,550 from the earlier stated $3,000.

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