Bajaj Auto’s Ultra Low Cost car project with partner Renault-Nissan to build a cheap small car doesn’t look like it will take off any sooner, with differences brewing between both the companies.
Renault did not give any concrete confirmation about their engagement in the project. The MD of Renault India, Marc Nassif, recently said that if the car manufactured, designed and conceptualised by Bajaj, did not meet their standards, then they would walk out of this project. However, if the car matched their DNA, then they would give the go ahead. If the car failed to meet their standards, then they would look for other solutions.
Nassif said that they were not compelled to buy the model developed by Bajaj. They do not have any joint venture with the company. If the car’s quality meets the promised standards, then they would go ahead with the project. When asked as to what they would do, incase they decide to not buy the Bajaj car, Nassif had said that they would do something else; they would have more opportunities.
Bajaj Auto, meanwhile, seemed less perturbed regarding the apprehensions of its partners. It said that they were developing a goods carrier for its ULC project, and that they would use this platform for developing their car as well. Because of the increasing differences, it looks like the Tata Nano, which is currently the cheapest small car in India, will hold its cost advantage for some more time, in the Indian auto market.