Nissan-Renault-Bajaj team confirms solidarity over launch of ultra-frugal vehicle

Tuesday 27 September 2011, 15:19 PM by

The recent comments by Nissan over its alliance with Bajaj Auto, seems to have cleared the air regarding rumours of their relations hitting a rough patch. Moreover, Nissan said that its deal with Bajaj Auto, meant to produce an ultra low-cost vehicle, is quite healthy and the car maker is still in talks with the Indian auto major regarding the project.

Nissan Motor Company Vice-President Corporate (India, Africa & Middle East), Giles Normand addressed the media, during the launch of the Japanese auto major's mid-sized sedan Sunny in India. "We have been holding discussions. The next round of the announcement will be a joint announcement," he was quoted as saying.

According to the unconfirmed news that was making round for quite sometime, the Nissan-Renault- Bajaj joint venture was floating in troubled waters. It further informed that the two overseas joint venture partners were not satisfied with Bajaj, over the pace of project.

"We will let you know at the right time," said Giles Normand, on being asked about the date or time when an agreement over the joint venture could be signed. Meanwhile, Nissan Motor India Managing Director Kiminobu Tokuyama said, the company is considering another project for study under which, another small car would be launched in the fast-growing Indian market, however, without a joint venture.

"We, at Nissan, are committed to offer a good product to any segment. So we are now studying the project of launching a small car, but it is too premature to say when we will launch the car," Kiminobu said.

The Renault-Nissan alliance went into an agreement with Bajaj Auto in 2008 by signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU), with the aim to develop an ultra low-cost vehicle for Indian as well as other emerging markets. Along with the signing of the MOU, the team plans to launch the vehicle in 2012.

According to the agreement, the design, manufacturing and sourcing would fall under the ambit of Bajaj and Renault-Nissan alliance would control and supervise the marketing aspects in India and overseas.

As a matter of fact, the Renault-Nissan alliance is investing Rs. 4,500 crore to construct a facility in Chennai, which will have an annual production capacity of four lakh units.

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