Bajaj Auto has quashed rumours of it and French automaker Renault going their separate ways on the small car project, saying that the venture is very much on track and the car is expected to hit the market by the end of 2012.
"The work on the model design is very much in progress. In three months, we will come up with the draft model, which will be presented before the Renault team for approval," a senior official of Bajaj Auto said on condition of anonymity.
"We are hopeful that our model will be ready by the end of 2012," he added.
Three years ago, Bajaj Auto, Nissan Motors and Renault announced that they will work on a small car that was to be pitched against Tata Nano and was to be priced below Rs 2 lakh. Bajaj Auto was to work on the model, while Nissan and Renault were to market the product.
However, after Renault launched its own products in India, rumours were rife that both auto makers will go their separate ways as Renault was not happy with the model.
"The Renault team has not even seen the model. So, there is no question of liking or disliking it. The agreement is very much in place and it is incorrect to say that both companies are going their separate ways," the official said.
This view was backed by Marc Nassif, country managing director, Renault India. "We have not seen the model yet. So it is too premature to pass any comment about the product or our next move. I will be able to comment only once we see the model," Nassif said.
Renault India last month launched its luxury sedan Fluence and plans to launch four more cars by end of next year. Even when they planned to enter the hatchback segment, they decided not to enter the less- than-Rs 4 lakh segment.
"At present do not plan to enter the below Rs 4 lakh category. It will all depend on how the Bajaj- Renault- Nissan product takes off. It is too early to comment on that," Nassif said.
According to Nassif, Renault's hatchback will be a completely India-centric product and the design for the car is already being prepared by its team of designers in Mumbai.
Courtesy: Mail Today