Renault/Nissan/Bajaj to Build Nano-Fighter

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

The Detroit News, internationalists that they are, report that Renault/Nissan is entering into a joint venture with India's Bajaj motors to take on the ultra-cheap Tata Nano (a.k.a. the one lahk car). Bajaj will own fifty percent of the joint venture, with Renault and Nissan splitting the rest. Together, they'll build a new factory in Chakan, India, Starting in 2011, the facility should eventually bang-out some 400k entry-level rides per year, heading for both the Indian and Chinese new car markets. No details are available about the powertrain or standard equipment (wheels? side mirrors? doors?). Whether this sudden craze for inexpensive mass market motors becomes a cash cow or a money pit remains to be seen; the challenge represents one of Nissan/Renault's most ambitious international projects. Still, Renault found plenty of karma with their first forray at the bottom of the market with the [formerly Dacia] Logan. The Indian version, built with Mahindra and Mahindra was a big hit for all concerned. The Iranians also build a version, but that's a story for another day.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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4 of 12 comments
  • Jthorner Jthorner on May 12, 2008

    Business Week has an interesting article on the Nano: Inside the Tata Nano Factory

  • Nick Nick on May 12, 2008
    My point is, how does that size wheel function on third world roads? There's a joke in there about Toronto somewhere. But seriously, the potholes here in Toronto would engulf those little donuts. My Toyota has 16 inches and I've dropped into potholes so deep I've landed on the air dam.
  • Dean Dean on May 12, 2008

    @Alex Dykes: with oil as the major source chemical for plastics, I'm not sure plastic is going to be a cost effective replacement for steel.

  • Anonymous Anonymous on May 13, 2008
    A real good set of wheel bearing wont cost $10 more. I'm assuming that the bearings aren't the only substandard part that would need upgrading when I estimate no more than $1,500 more for substantially the same car, but one that will have a slightly higher top speed.