Renault to go solo on low-cost car, plans two models
However, officials at Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motor said on condition of anonymity that for any new player now to penetrate the small-car market would be very difficult considering the wide range of dealer network it requires. For instance, the dealer network of around 80,000 that Maruti has today in the country due to its early start is still the double of what Hyundai Motor has even though it entered the country with its small car Santro in 1998.
When contacted, a Renault spokesperson said, “All we can share with you is that there are plans for a car below the Pulse but it is at a very early stage of consideration so (it is) difficult to comment on the time or share any other details.”
Renault had started work on the low-cost car with Bajaj Auto in 2009 and officially announced it in 2010. Bajaj was to develop the car under its expertise of 'frugal engineering', which would then be badged by Renault-Nissan and sold through the latter's network. However, by 2012 Renault had opted out of the tie-up.
VG Ramakrishnan, managing director, South Asia at Frost & Sullivan, said that the market for a low-cost car may hardly exist today but will likely develop over the next four to five years when buyers of bikes and second-hand cars start taking the segment seriously as an alternative.
“It is tough to get features, fit and finish at the price point. For success in the low-cost
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