If you though Tata’s Nano was the last word on ultra low cost cars, be prepared for more. It has been in the news for some time that the French car manufacturer Renault along with its Japanese partner Nissan was developing a small car worth $3000. The price is now likely to be scaled down to $2550!
Tata Motors had introduced Nano as the world’s cheapest car with a price tag of $2500, at the 9th Auto Expo in New Delhi. The Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn said that the low cost car would be completely different from the recently unveiled Nano and Lite. He said that the car will hit the roads after in a year and half, in early 2010, after Nano appears in showrooms this Diwali. He said that the company is contemplating on bringing down the cost of the car to compete with the Nano.
The French car manufacturer had followed Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata’s announcement to make a small car with his own $3000 car. Renault with Nissan have explored the Indian market and zeroed in on Bajaj, a two-wheeler and three wheeler maker who was waiting to dive into the car manufacturing sector.
Interestingly, Bajaj Auto has already unveiled its small car called Lite, a day prior to Nano’s launch. The car was showcased at the auto expo. The company is yet to reveal the cost of the small car.
The ultra-low-cost-car (ULCC) is a new concept and it remains to be seen if the safety and comfort features will be given any prominence as is done in premium cars. Tata has proved itself technically, on all grounds, but the ultimate test would be when it hits the roads. Nissan-Renault-Bajaj can wait for the public’s reaction to the Nano and strategize accordingly.