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Renault, Nissan eye 5% share with new launches

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France’s second largest car manufacturer, Renault, and Japanese auto major, Nissan, are eying to grab 5 per cent share in the Indian market by 2014 with a portfolio of five products slated to be rolled out by each company over the next two years.

Renault, which has firmed up modalities at its joint facility with Nissan at Oragadam, Chennai, will start manufacturing the luxury sedan Fluence from April. The car, which will be Renault’s first solo offering in the country, is scheduled to hit the Indian roads a month later in May. Close on its heels the premium crossover sports utility vehicle (SUV) Koleos will be introduced in October.

The three other models will follow in the course of 2012, one of them being a 1.1 litre hatchback. While this model will compete with the likes of Hyundai i10, Fluence will take on Honda Civic. Koleos, in the meantime, will be pitted against Honda CR-V and Hyundai Santa Fe.

Ashish Sinharoy, vice-president corporate affairs, Renault India, said, “We are looking at selling 70,000 to 75,000 vehicles in 2013-14 by then our slated models will be in the Indian market. Beyond that, we intend to account for five per cent of car sales in the country.”

Renault is working on ramping up its distribution network at present and aims to put in place 70 dealerships by 2013. Nissan has plans to expand its dealership network to over 100 by 2013 from the 22 outlets its has at present.

The company, which introduced its compact car Micra this July, is gearing up to launch its sedan, Sunny, next year. The car will be renamed for the Indian market. On the cards, is also a multi-purpose vehicle from the Nissan fold.

Sources in the company said it is eyeing 5 per cent market share after the new launches in the country. Apart from Micra, Nissan sells premium SUV X-Trail, luxury sedan Teana and 370Z, which are imported as completely built units from Japan.

The new models, will be produced by Renault Nissan India Ltd at the Chennai facility, owned in equal proportions by the two companies. The south India plant of the joint venture company has seen an investment of around Rs 4,500 crore and will have a total capacity of 400,000 units per annum after 2014. The two car makers, which have cross holdings in each other companies globally, will only share the manufacturing facility but make and sell their own cars.

Renault and Japanese car maker Nissan, which share a common global CEO in Carlos Ghosn, have also tied up with Bajaj Auto to work on a low-cost car (in which Bajaj will hold 50 per cent, and Nissan and Renault the rest). This project has been delayed by over a year with the new deadline fixed for 2012.