Last week, when talking about Volkswagen’s future $10,00o low-cost car, we said that “is rumored to work on something that costs about half.” Guess it is no longer a rumor. Reuters writes that Gerard Detourbet , the man behind Renault’s Logan program, is in Chennai, India, to work on a real budget car, costing about half of Volkswagen’s targeted price. India is the battlefield for low-cost cars. And that’s not because of Tata’s Nano.
Most of Suzuki’s commanding market share in India goes on account of cars costing less than 250,000 rupees ( $4,600) This segment bring Suzuki “1 million registrations a year in a market of 2.6 million,” Reuters says. Hyundai’s inroads into the India market are powered by its 300,000 rupee ($5,500) Eon mini.
Renault’s new “sub-entry” architecture will offer roomier cars for a similar price tag and spawn at least one additional model for Nissan, Detourbet told Reuters.
Despite tanking sales in Europe, Renault recorded a small auto division profit in the first half of 2012, mainly due to its low-cost car program. Peugeot lost $870 million in the same period. Detourbet, a mathematician by trade, helped Renault to achieve the allegedly impossible: How to make big money with small cars.