More on Renault-Nissan’s Global Plans for the Logan
By Brendan Moore
In a wide-ranging interview conducted with several publications and news agencies earlier today while Carlos Ghosn was in Bangkok, the CEO of Renault-Nissan commented on the plans the company has for the Logan in the Asian Region.
Regarding the much-publicized initiative with Mahindra and Mahindra, one of India’s largest domestic auto producers, to produce a $3000 car, Ghosn stated that the content and price of such a car would be so far away from the Logan that there is no concern about that potential car taking sales away from the Logan in India or anywhere else it might be sold. Logans produced in India cost approximately $9800. Tata, another one of India’s domestic producers, has announced that it intends to roll out a “People’s Car” next year that will retail for under $3000.
On that specific subject, Ghosn commented: “We cannot accept to be completely taken by surprise by somebody coming with a $3,000 car that could have a potential bigger than India. Nissan and Renault are working on it.”
“One car manufacturer says it is to bring a $3,000 car to India next year and it is a challenge we take seriously. We will be ready when the car comes to the market, we will have enough information, research, discussion,” said Ghosn.
“Our obvious partner is Mahindra and we are working with them, but we have not finalized any agreement yet.”
The Logan is currently produced in Romania, Russia, Brazil, Columbia, Iran, Morocco, and soon, Mexico, where it will be called the Nissan Aprio. The Logan is sold worldwide.
Renault-Nissan and Mahindra are building a plant in Chennai in the south of India that will have production capacity of over 400,000 vehicles a year, a considerable percentage of which would be allocated to Logan production. Vehicle sales are expected to increase almost geometrically in India (see India – The Future Auto Giant, April 2007) in the coming decade, with the script there closely following China’s recent explosion in vehicle purchasing. The Logan is projected to be an integral part of the sales growth in India. Production capacity in India can also accommodate Logan sales expansion in other countries in the region.
In other remarks in Bangkok, Ghosn seemed to give short shrift to Thailand’s plan to make the country a sizable exporter of small cars, as it is currently with small pickup trucks. Thailand approved measures recently to provide incentives and generous tax credits for companies that want to produce cars with engines 1.3 liters and below. But Ghosn stated that he saw that production coming from producers in India and China in the Asian Region.
Additionally, Ghosn mentioned that Renault-Nissan has over 1000 engineers in Hanoi, Vietnam, who support the company’s staff in China, but did not foresee that Renault-Nissan would set up production in Vietnam anytime in the next three years.
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