Chennai: Franco-Japanese auto alliance Renault-Nissan on Tuesday said it will double its investments in India to 5 billion dollars in the next five years for overall expansion, including new products and adding fresh production capacity in the country.
The alliance, which today announced a completely new global platform of vehicle (CMF-A), developed fully from the scratch in India for high growth markets, said it is still working on an ultra low cost car (ULC) that would be only tad costlier than Tata Nano.
"We have been investing in India .... The Chennai plant, technical centre and the new platform CMF-A and others for introducing new models, so far we have invested USD 2.5 billion in the country," Renault-Nissan alliance Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn told reporters here.
"There are so many products coming. Nissan has already said 10 cars by 2016 and Renault is also planning to bring many more. So our overall investments of USD 2.5 billion in India will double in the next five years," he added.
With all the new products coming in, including the relaunched Datsun brand, the alliance is looking at having 15 percent market share in few years, he said without specifying a time line.
Commenting on the new CMF-A platform, Ghosn said: "This is a completely new platform developed in India, using the Indian engineering and local suppliers supported by Renault- Nissan."
The products from the platform will meet specific requirements of first time new car buyers in world's fastest growing markets, he added.
The first car from the platform will roll out from the Chennai plant in 2015 and two products are already being planned on it, said Ghosn, adding it could be under any brand -- Renault, Nissan or Datsun, of the alliance.
The products based on the CMF-A will be sent for test marketing in fast growing markets such as Indonesia, South Africa and Brazil and if they are accepted there, the alliance would manufacture in those markets, he added.
When asked if the alliance is still working on an ultra low cost car, he replied in the affirmative.
"We are still sticking to the idea of a ULC, not only for India but for all the high growth markets," he said.
On whether the ULC will compete with Tata Nano, Ghosn said: "The product will be much better but the pricing will not be very far from the lowest cost product available in the market."
The alliance had earlier partnered with Bajaj Auto for the ULC but pulled out of it due to differences in approach.
Sounding bullish on the Indian market, Ghosn said: "India will be among the top five global markets for Renault and among the top ten for Nissan in future."
First Published: Tuesday, July 16, 2013, 17:04