Renault plans to recast Mahindra JV

The French auto major Renault today ruled out breaking away from its existing joint venture with the Mahindras, but said it wants to restructure the operations of the partnership entity.


"Mahindra and Renault will continue to work together in the coming days. We have no problems to work together...We will come out with a detailed restructuring plan over the next 30-45 days," Renault India Country General Manager and Managing Director Marc Nassif told reporters here today.

Last month, Renault had said it would review the future of its joint venture  partnership with the Mahindras, in which Renault holds 49 per cent stake.

Renault plans to launch at least five new cars over the next two to three years in the country including the Fluence and the Koleos. These two new models will be rolled out from the Chennai plant of Renault-Nissan India, Nassif said.

"We will launch the Fluence and the Koleos in 2011, both to be made at our Chennai facility. We both (Renault and Nissan) will only share the manufacturing facility but will make and sell our own cars," Nassif said.

Nassif said Renault will set up a nationwide distribution network over the next 30 months to ensure a seamless service to customers. As part of this, the company plans to open at least 10 dealerships by 2011.

The carmaker's Chennai facility will be made operational before May. The new facility will be used by Nissan to make its newly developed compact car, he said.

The platform will also be used by Renault to make its own compact car as well as a mid-sized sedans. Both companies are also examining the feasibility to set up an engine manufacturing facility, he said.

The Chennai facility, which has a capacity of 4 lakh units a year has been set up with a combined investment of nearly Rs 4,500 crore. So far, Renault has invested about euro 100 million in the new plant.

Renault and Japanese carmaker Nissan have also tied up with Bajaj Auto to work on a low-cost car. Bajaj will hold 50 per cent in the joint venture, while Nissan and Renault will hold the rest equally.

The joint venture partners expect to launch the ultra low-cost car in the country by 2012, Nassif he said.