Roll Over, Nano: Renault Working On 2.500 Car

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

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?

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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4 of 16 comments
  • Mcs Mcs on Nov 23, 2011
    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.
    • See 1 previous
    • Mor2bz Mor2bz on Oct 12, 2012

      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?

  • Magnusmaster Magnusmaster on Nov 23, 2011

    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.

  • Tassos Most people here who think it is a good idea have NO idea how much such a conversion costs. Hint: MORE than buying an entire new car.
  • Zipper69 Current radio ads blare "your local Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealer" and the facias read the same. Is the honeymoon with FIAT over now the 500 and big 500 have stopped selling?
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  • ToolGuy Personally I have no idea what anyone in this video is talking about, perhaps someone can explain it to me.
  • ToolGuy Friendly reminder of two indisputable facts: A) Winners buy new vehicles (only losers buy used), and B) New vehicle buyers are geniuses (their vehicle choices prove it):