The second largest auto manufacturer in France, Renault is one of the many auto companies who are eyeing the Indian small car market, a domain headed by Maruti Suzuki, India’s leading passenger car manufacturer.
According to reports, Renault is reportedly conducting studies to check the viability of producing a car which is totally built in India, utilizing expertise from their fledgling R&D centre in India.
Renault is reported to be planning to introduce around 5 passenger vehicles in India in the following years. The locally developed models are likely to be introduced in their next expansion phase, which starts in 2015. The company is likely to develop a hatchback model to begin with that could complement their new small premium car that is scheduled for early 2012.
Officials from the company, however, said that they cannot disclose more details as they have just begun the study. Renault India’s VP of marketing and sales, Len Curran, said that they are seriously considering all opportunities represented in India. They are currently working on producing a car, which can be fully developed in India. However, this project is possible only in their second stage of planning. They are yet to make a decision regarding what the model could be.
The locally created car is to be built relying on the expertise of Indian engineers. Renault is likely to build more than one product using this platform, going following worldwide trends of using a single platform for numerous purposes to make them more economically viable.
The French auto manufacturer is also increasing their R&D in Chennai. The centre currently employs 1,400 people and shares it with Nissan, its sister company. The main objective of the company’s R&D centre, which is known as the Renault Nissan Engineering, is to perfect all their models to be introduced in this market so that they suit the Indian driving conditions.
The centre also works on their International projects for their European and Asian markets, according to Curran. They also have a centre for auto design located in Mumbai. Renault is expected to introduce four passenger models by 2012-end.