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Renault-Nissan developing all-new car platform in India: Carlos Ghosn

N Madhavan     July 16, 2013
The Renault-Nissan Alliance is developing an all new car platform in India to meet the demands of new car buyers in the fastest growing economies of the world. The platform code named CMF-A (Common Module Family - Affordable) has been designed and engineered in India.

The first cars on the platform will roll out in 2015. They will boast a competitive price. After the India launch, they will move to other markets. This was revealed by Carlos Ghosn, Chairman & CEO, Renault-Nissan Alliance, while on a visit to Chennai.

"This platform has been built ground up, jointly by Renault and Nissan. It will be state-of-the-art and most innovative," he said. The platform, he added, would be "multi-brand". This means it would be used across the three brands Renault, Nissan and Datsun.

The alliance is betting big on this platform to catapult its market share from the projected 5 per cent by end of the year to 15 per cent in the next few years. Ghosn did not reveal any deadline by which this target will be achieved. He said he wanted the team to get the product right first.

Ghosn reiterated his faith in India by saying that at 15 cars per 1,000 people, India's car ownership was far lower than that of other countries such as China (60 cars), Brazil (200) or USA (800).

"Considering the investment that is being made by the government on infrastructure, and the booming private sector, there is no way anyone in the car industry can be pessimistic about this market," he said.

He also acknowledged that India was a complex market. It was for this reason that the alliance opted for partnerships. He also said that the alliance had its own projects.

"Both will happen simultaneously and we will get the best solution to the market," he added. In the case of the partnership with Ashok Leyland, the product (Dost) reached the market. With Bajaj Auto, the partnership had not made much headway, he said.

The alliance, he said, would be making huge investments in the near future to fuel this growth. So far close to $2.5 billion has been invested in the Chennai plant, technology centre and in various products (including the CMF-A platform). "This could double in the next five years," Ghosn said.

India has the potential to become one of the top five markets for Renault and among the top 10 for Nissan, according to him.

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