In India, May 2015 is a big month for French automaker Renault. The 20th of this month is when Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of the Renault-Nissan joint car making alliance will fly into India to unveil the Kayou, the automaker’s budget hatchback that aims to make a big dent in the car universe. The Kayou hatchback, codenamed the XBA/A-Entry will be priced well below 4 lakh rupees, and will be the least priced car that the French automaker will sell in India. While the launch is likely to happen later this year, the event on the 20th of May will serve as the global unveil for the hatchback, which is a budget car that isn’t meant only for India, just as this render indicates.
[Render courtesy Largus.Fr]
In markets where Renault operates its Dacia low cost car brand, the Kayou will use the Romanian nameplate. The Renault-Nissan joint manufacturing facility at Oragadam, off Chennai, is expected to be a major production base for the budget hatchback. Production at the Oragadam factory is meant to leverage India’s competitive advantage of high quality, low cost manufacturing. The Kayou will sit on the CMF-A platform, which is meant specifically for compact, budget cars. The car will also mark the debut of the Common Module Family (CMF) architecture, Renault-Nissan speak for parts and production facility sharing.
Developed with extensive inputs from Renault-Nissan’s technical center at Chennai, the Kayou will be heavily localized to keep pricing very competitive. Considering the fact that the car will go head to head with the likes of the Maruti Alto 800 and the Hyundai Eon, localization will also seek to deliver affordable ownership costs. The hatchback will debut a new, 800cc triple cylinder petrol engine developed in India. An automated manual transmission (AMT) from ZF Sachs is also said to be in the equation as AMTs have really taken off in the past couple of years. A 5 speed manual gearbox will be standard fare though.
Renault became a well known car brand in India with the Duster SUV, although it was the Logan sedan on the back of the Mahindra-Renault joint venture that really brought the French brand into India. With the Lodgy and its competitive pricing set to upset the applecart of many MPVs, the A-Entry will form the third of the triad of big volume, mass market offerings lined up by the French automaker. The Kayou will be followed by the Datsun Redigo, another budget hatchback that is based on the CMF-A platform. The Redigo will be launched in early 2016, but will be priced and positioned under the Kayou.