Bajaj to spearhead $3,000 car project
BAJAJ Auto will lead the three-way exclusive global alliance with Renault-Nissan for the $3,000 small car project. Sources said the current agreement is that Bajaj will lead the project and Renault-Nissan will support it. Bajaj will be involved not just in the development and manufacturing of the car but also in its marketing and distribution, using its existing network of two-wheeler dealers. However, the alliance with Bajaj will only focus on light vehicles, both passenger and cargo. Which means, Nissan may be looking for another Indian partner to market and distribute its high-end range of cars. Renault Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn, who is all set to come to India next week to formally announce Nissan’s commercial vehicle partnership with Ashok Leyland, will be meeting the Bajaj brass on October 29 and will also be visiting its Chakan plant. Mr Ghosn, who will arrive with a Japanese media contingent, will be showcasing Bajaj’s technical capabilities during the visit. Sources said Bajaj will seek support from both Nissan and Renault on the development of the $3,000 car. “That support may be more in some cases like the chassis and body design and less like engine and transmission,” said an industry source. Currently, a feasibility study is on and a formal decision will be taken in the next two months. Nissan Renault seems to be following a product/project-specific partnership approach in India. While Renault tied up with Mahindra & Mahindra for the Logan sedan, Nissan has tied up with Ashok Leyland for commercial vehicles.