We will have a low cost car: Ghosn

Carlos Ghosn Carlos Ghosn After aborting an attempt to launch a Tata Nano rival with joining of forces with Pune-based Bajaj Auto six years ago, Carlos Ghosn, the head of Renault and Nissan has not completely given up on that idea.

Speaking to CNBC TV18 Carlos Ghosn, chief executive, Renault and Nissan said work is presently on for a ultra low-cost car (ULCC) to be launched under the Datsun brand in India.

Ghosn was speaking on the sidelines of unveiling a five door compact hatchback in New Delhi christened 'Go' which would be priced under Rs 4,00,000.

"Among the cars we have planned for the Datsun brand in India will be a ultra low cost car.
We have planned a number of cars under the Datsun brand", Ghosn said.

Datsun is aiming to launch 10 models over the next few years, starting next year, in attempt to help grab Nissan a 10% market share in India 2016 from little more than 1% presenly.

Despite the lukewarm response Tata Motors' Nano has received since its commercial launch in 2009 Ghosn is upbeat about its own ultra low cost car.

"It (Nano) is a great car, it was built for the needs of a specific segment but it never met those needs and the segment remains unaddressed", added Ghosn.

Despite a variety of efforts taken by Tata Motors Nano sales have struggled to go beyond an average of 1,400 units in the first three months of this year. Tata Motors however have not given up on the small car. It launched a 2013 model year variant complete with refurbishments.

Renault-Nissan was talking to Bajaj Auto to develop a Nano rival since 2007 which ended fruitless. Ghosn wished to price the vehicle at $2,500 which would deliver a mileage of not less than 30 kmpl.

The development work of this ULCC was in the hands of Bajaj Auto. However Bajaj ended up developing a four wheeler which it defines as a quadricycle.

Ghosn had forged another partnership with truck maker Ashok Leyland to develop a Tata Ace rival. This partnership, unlike the one with Bajaj Auto, has flourished over the time. Nissan-Ashok Leyland developed and launched the LCV Dost in the Indian market and followed up with an MPV later.