Troubled Times for Renault with Indian Partners

Thursday 08 October 2009, 00:00 AM by Satish Kalepu

French car maker Renault seems to be facing troubled times with its Indian partners. Rumors have been doing round that Renault has asked Bajaj Auto to partner it in producing its model Logan. Currently Renault has 51:49 joint venture with Mahindra and Mahindra and jointly produce Mahindra Renault Logan. Bajaj Auto is partner with Renault and Nissan in its ultra-low-cost car project to be produced from its Greenfield facility in Oragadam near Chennai.

Logan is one of the more successful Renault models around the world but has not had volume sales in India due to pricing issues and branding strategy. Mahindra had been seeking greater control over product re-engineering of Logan but has failed to do so. “The company will not be unhappy to walk out of the JV,” says person close to the MRPL project on condition of anonymity. This has made Mahindra tread cautiously in its joint venture with ITEC for producing commercial trucks in India. It has asked for more product flexibility in truck making in its new JV.

On the other hand, Renault denies any rumors about Bajaj Auto or any other company to replace Mahindra and Mahindra. Renault remains committed to the Indian market, as well as to the Mahindra Renault JV and is committed to getting back on track,” said a Renault India spokesman in response to an email query by a leading English Daily in India.