Initially, Renault wanted to tap the low cost car market of India in a tie-up with Mahindra and Mahindra but that JV failed (Logan turned into Verito). Renault Nissan also tried a small car in joint venture with Bajaj ULC project, but that too also did not work out! However, Renault has not lost sight of the segment. Currently it may be launching a slew of high end products like the Fluence, Duster and the Koleos but in the future it evidently wants to tap into the low cost volume segment car market of India. And here comes Gerard Detourbet, the man who was behind the no-frills sedan, the Logan and many other such models in the global markets.
Mr. Gerard Detourbet has been assigned with the responsibility of chalking out a cheaper vehicle programme for India, such a programme that will be challenging the low cost car champions, Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai. Mr. Detourbet, 66 years old has already moved to Renault’s Chennai facility where he has been quietly building an Indian supplier network and crack team of local executives. Renault has set a target price of the small car to be under $5500 which is approx. Rs. 3 Lakhs making it a competitor to cars like Alto, Eon and Wagon R.
image – Twingo small car for illustration only
In a recent interview Mr. Detourbet commented,
“We don’t set out to poach people, but it happens that they sometimes come to us from Suzuki and Hyundai. We’ve put together a new team, so of course there are people from all over.”
He also added that Renault’s entry-level small car architecture will be offering more spacious cars for similar price levels. Some model sharing with its global partner, Nissan might also take place. He is of the opinion that in the future, a significant amount of volumes will be driven by thee volume segment cars. Mr. Detourbet joined Renault in 1971 as an IT specialist after which he rose through the ranks to become senior vice president responsible for transmissions in 1997. He was then asked to head the company’s low cost car programme 3 years later by Louis Schweitzer, the then CEO of Renault.
via – ET