Ghosn inks LCV deal, meets Bajaj

Written by Corporate Bureaus | Chennai, Pune, Oct 29 | Updated: Oct 30 2007, 06:01am hrs
For Carlos Ghosnthe peripatetic CEO of Frances Renault and Japans Nissanwas particularly hectic. In Chennai, he announced a Nissan-Ashok Leyland Ltd agreement for light commercial vehicles (LCVs), and then flew to Bajaj Autos Chakan facility in Pune to review Renaults plans for a low-cost car alliance with the two-wheeler maker.

Renault already has a tie-up with Mumbai-based Mahindra & Mahindra for the Logan car. Ashok Leyland and Nissan will manufacture, market and export LCVs. Three separate joint ventures for vehicle manufacture, power-train manufacture, and technology development in India, will be set up at an estimated investment of $500 million.

While the technology development company will be set up in Chennai, the location for the other two JVs will be finalised in a few days. Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh are among states shortlisted for the manufacturing facilities, said Ghosn.

We expect to commence LCV production by early 2010. The initial capacity will be around 100,000 units per annum, which will be scaled up based on demand, Ghosn said.

Said R Seshasayee, MD, Ashok Leyland, The JV will have both low and high-end versions of LCVs. While Ashok Leyland branded LCVs will be at the lower end, Nissan branded ones will be at the high end.

In Pune, Ghosn said, Im here to further review the proposed alliance for the ultra low-cost car project with Bajaj. I am confident that this project will continue to advance in a favourable direction. Ghosn also dispelled doubts on how the various partnerships would work, saying his companies would follow the model of multiple partnerships in India.