Renault India has an 800cc small car up its sleeve for a possible 2014-15 launch
Renault India is said to be working on an 800cc small car that will sit under its existing entry level offering, the Pulse hatchback. The 800cc Renault small car could rival the likes of the Maruti Alto and the Hyundai Eon and even the upcoming 800cc small car from Maruti Suzuki, which is slated to be launched later this year. The Renault small car could hit Indian roads by 2014-15, pretty much at the same time when Datsun’s range of low cost, small cars arrive into the Indian car market. So, it’s highly likely that the Renault small car could share a large number of parts with the Datsuns.
Adding credence to this theory is the assertion that the Renault 800cc small car would be built at the Renault-Nissan joint production unit at Oragadam, Chennai, a location that is also expected to host production of the Datsun range. Since the Datsun range of cars will use a high amount of localized content in the car, the Renault 800cc small car is also expected to come with heavy localization given the price point at which it is pegged at. Datsun is the low cost car division of Japanese automaker Nissan. Most of the development work for the Datsun range of small cars is expected to happen in India.
Coming back to the Renault 800cc offering, platform sharing will be the name of the game although Renault is expected to position its small car above the Datsun range, in consonance with its strategy of pricing its car above that of Nissan’s products. The Renault 800cc small car project is named as the “A-Entry” and as its name suggests, the car is anticipated to be an entry level offering sitting in the high volume INR 3-4 lakh segment of the Indian small car market. The development work on a brand new 800cc petrol engine is said to have begun with the prime focus on high fuel economy.
A fuel economy figure of 20 Kmpl is said to be the target with the new 800cc engine, that could possibly be a three cylinder unit. Gerard DeTourbet, Renault’s low cost car specialist will lead the 800cc small car project for the French brand. Given that the slated launch of this small car is the year 2014-15, it will give enough time for Renault to expand its dealerships acorss the country as a strong dealer network is one of the pre-requisites for launching a high volume, small car.