Renault to go on its own in India; Fluence and Koles coming

Renault has finally decided to pull the plugs on the joint venture with  Mahindra and go solo in India. Their JV in India failed to gain traction for the Renault Logan budget sedan, resulting in losses.

renault fluence india photo
Photo: Renault Fluence might come to India

Mr. Carlos Ghosn who is the CEO of both Nissan and Renault announced solo production and distribution plans for new products, including a small car for India. Renault on Tuesday said it would launch as many as five new cars over the next four years.

Renault India would be producing the new vehicles at its factory near Chennai, which is built in partnership with group company Nissan and will have a capacity of 4 lakh units per annum.

It is believed that production of the Mahindra Renault Logan would also move to the Renault-Nissan plant in Chennai. Renault’s engineers would probably work on reducing the length of the Logan to make it eligible to fit into the small-car category in India and therefore lower excise duties on the car to eight per cent.

renault koleos india photo
Renault Koleos photo

Two models from the Renault lineup that are likely to be launched in India are the Koleos soft-roader, and the Fluence sedan. The Renault Koleos was on display at the Auto Expo 2010 – but then we did not know that it might come to India. The Koleos will possibly feature a 2500 diesel engine, and if price well, can offer some competition to the current soft-roaders in the Indian market. Lookswise, the Koleos is a very appealing vehicle for sure.

The Renault Fluence is a very modern-looking sedan that offers oodles of style, as you can see from the photo above. Trust us, it is a lot better in the flesh. Petrol and diesel variants will be on offer in Europe; but we are not sure what Renault has in mind for India.

Industry sources had been speculating this breakup since some time now as the Joint venture had just the Logan which failed to gain any sales figure and made this relationship still sour. Just for your records, Logan sales have gone down drastically, Logan produced at M&M’s Nashik factory have been falling for more than a year, going down 61% during April 2009 and January 2010 to 4445 vehicles against a backdrop of 25% growth in domestic car sales.

Intrestingly M&M’s automotive sector president MR. Pawan Goenka said the company wanted “continuity in Logan”, but declined to elaborate while Mr.Marc Nassif, country head for Renault in India, said the French car major hopes to sell over 100,000 units annually by 2014 and will introduce the Fluence and Koleos models in 2011.

Renault is also likely to bring its exciting cars like the Clio, Laguna, Sandero,Twingo in the next few years.