By on November 23, 2011

Renault already upset the European car market with its low cost Logan, which goes for around €7,700 (approx $10,000) in France. If the French newspaper La Tribune has its sources straight, then Renault could be coming out with a car that is priced like a high-end bicycle.

Renault allegedly is working on a car that will cost €2,500 ($3,350). France’s wire service Agence France Presse says it is not true, but la Tribune sticks to its guns and says that it maintains that its “proprietary information” is correct. According to TTAC’s proprietary information, AFP is wrong, and La Tribune is on the right track.

Renault’s low cost maven Gerard Detourbet (father of the Logan) has been put on the project, not just for Renault, but for the Renault / Nissan Alliance. As a timeframe we hear something less than 5 years. The €2,500 may not be cast in stone, but the order of magnitude (or is that minitude?) is correct.

Renault’s CEO Carlos Ghosn is betting big on emerging markets. Low cost is key in markets where the previous vehicle was a moped. If the economy goes down the toilet, low cost will be the key to everywhere.

At the Frankfurt Motor Show, Renault’s Gerard Detourbet told La Tribune that he and his team are “working hard” on a car below the Dacia Logan and Sandero. But, says the paper, at €2,500, the car cannot rest on the Logan platform, it needs something cheaper. That’s what Detourbet is working on. What is most interesting is that due to Renault/Nissan’s cost structure, it can make decent money on a car that goes for petty cash.

THAT is the real miracle of the industry.

Tata’s Nano has not set the world on fire, but not for a lack of interest. First, Tata could not produce the car. Then the Nano did set itself on fire. Wouldn’t it be interesting if Renault/Nissan would give Tata trouble in its home market India with a low cost car?



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16 Comments on “Roll Over, Nano: Renault Working On €2.500 Car...”

  • avatar

    I’m not so sure that such cheap cars will ever be really economically viable. I’m sure that by blending together existing designs/technologies/parts that R&D costs can be kept down. But the constantly varying expense of raw materials, the cost of actually manufacturing the car and shipping it to it’s end destination will surely cut into any minor profits that a manufacturer would make.

    • 0 avatar

      I remember hearing a last-generation Taurus was about 7K is materials to make. That included labor I suspect. So a substantially smaller car (think Fiat 500) using the most basic features and extensive use of cheap manufacturing and localized production could turn a profit of $500 on each car, not a whole lot but any profit can make the venture worthwhile when the country has real money to buy cars with and you want to sell them that 7500 euro car or more expensive cars than that.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m quite sure no family car today costs anything near 7k in materials. Most of the total cost of a car today is development, including setting up the machines that do most of the work, designers, engineers, testing, administration, electricity, and general factory maintenance, and offcourse the paperwork needed for all those things, and remember they have to update that car each year to get the customers in through the door. And then comes all the transport and logistics and dealer costs to get the car out to the customers. The material costs of a car is so small that losing a trainload of lets say 300-400 cars makes little or no difference in the final profit on that car model.

  • avatar

    I currently own a 2006 Renault Logan and it’s a fine car and seems built to last. Certainly it isn’t luxurious at all but has most of the comforts you’ll ever need like power windows, locks and mirrors, assisted steering, 2 air bags and ABS. A way to go from point a to point b in a cheap but fine machine.

    TTAC seems to think almost the same about the estate version:

    • 0 avatar

      Add air conditioning, and that would be an acceptable means of transport in the USA. Interesting that we don’t see it here – I imagine emissions and crash testing are the barriers.

  • avatar

    Yum, yeah. It’ll look like that concept. Really. Especially those rims, for sure. We can, for sure, sell a car for the price rims and tires that look like that normally cost on their own

    Meanwhile, the end result looks like the Chevy Aveo sedan.

  • avatar

    Getting such a car onto a North American dealer lot with an MSRP under 4K would be nearly impossible even if they skirted emissions and crash-test laws by building it with only three wheels and calling it a motorcycle.

  • avatar

    Renault – The safest car in the world… for your wallet.

  • avatar

    Top Gear is always panning Renault and Peugeot cars for how thin and cheap they feel, like the components and switches on the dash etc.

    You have to wonder if this is going to be the world’s first declared disposable car.

  • avatar

    a car that is priced like a high-end bicycle.
    Actually, $3350 will get you just the wheels for some high end bikes. A well equipped Parlee or Seven can run $8k to $10k+ easily. Upgrade the wheels, add extras like ceramic wheel bearings, and the price can get even higher. It’s expensive, but when you’re headed down a hill at 40 to 50 mph you don’t want cheap equipment.

    • 0 avatar

      There’s high-end, and there’s nonsense-high-end. A Mercedes or Cadillac can be ‘high-end’ at $45k, or you can get a nonsense-high-end Rolls for over $250k.

      That’s the funny thing–there seems to be no ceiling on price. So long as there is someone willing to pay more money, you will find a someone willing to take that money.

      As for myself, I consider “high-end” to be beyond the peak of the benefit/cost curve (because you are paying incrementally more to get incrementally less). IMO, for general bikes, that happens somewhere in the $2000s.

    • 0 avatar

      Bs. I have been 50 mph. on 200-300$ bikes just fine. A straight
      frame, decent wheels and tires, a good well adjusted headset:
      no problem. A cheaper frame may very well be more rigid (and heavier)
      making it more stable and less prone to a speed wobble.

      yeah, I’ve built Sevens too.

      how much money do you make?

  • avatar

    I’m really starting to get worried about Renault. First, they announced that they are going to manufacture a new low-cost car in Argentina, which turns out it’s going to be a cheaper rehash of the ancient Clio 2. The Clio 2 sold right now in Argentina already makes the Logan look like a Mercedes by comparison, so I can’t even fathom how much the new Clio rehash is going to suck, let alone this 2500 euro car. In fact I have a great name for this new car: Trabant II.

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