French carmaker Renault is planning to follow the footsteps of rivals like Hyundai, Toyota, Suzuki and Honda to develop an all new car platform solely for India as the company tries to push sales in one of the world’s high-potential market.
Carlos Tavares, the global chief operating officer of Renault, said the company was working out “all options” to give a push to its India plans. “India is one of the key markets for us along with Brazil and Russia,” Tavares said after unveiling the company’s first small car, Pulse, which shares platform with Japanese partner Nissan’s V-platform.
Nissan already sells its Micra small car based on the same platform. “It could happen that we develop a new platform for this market. All possibilities are open.”
A car built for India and its specific requirements is seen as crucial to break into the market. Models specifically developed for the Indian market include Toyota’s Etios sedan and Liva hatchback, Honda’s Brio and Hyundai’s Eon. Suzuki’s Indian subsidiary Maruti is also developing a new car “from scratch” that is expected to hit the roads next year.
Renault has been trying to give a thrust to its India plans ever since its partnership with Mahindra & Mahindra ended in a divorce after their joint product Logan failed to take off. The company currently sells the Fluence sedan and Koleos sport-utility vehicle in India and plans to introduce another SUV, Duster, by mid-2012.
The Pulse will be the third car from the company and will be launched around January next year. However,its commonality with the Nissan Micra raises doubt over any blockbuster success, considering that Micra has not been able to make any major impact.