By on July 9, 2012

The Dacia Logan is a very famous car. It is one of the cheapest 3-box cars in the world and was developed after Renault bought Dacia. The Logan is an inexpensive no frills car and was made for developing markets, one of them being India. Renault started its India journey with the Logan. However the company had to tie up with Mahindra to reduce costs. The Renault brand was not famous in the country and the price was not as cheap. Tata Motors’ Indigo was available at a cheaper price. The Logan bombed and sales were very low.

Renault was not happy at all. The Mahindra-Renault Logan was the only product on offer from the French automaker and it failed miserably. Renault had deep discussions with Mahindra and sold the rights of the Logan entirely to Mahindra, thereby withdrawing completely from the product. Mahindra re-launched the Logan as Verito and the sales picked up immediately to almost five times then what it was before. Now Mahindra has chopped off the boot to make the Verito less than 4-meters in length. This will help it classify as a small car. A sub 4-meter car having either a sub 1.5-litre diesel engine or a sub 1.2-litre petrol engine is classified as a small car and attracts an excise duty of 12% against 27%.

The Mahindra Verito is powered by a 1.5-litre diesel engine, which is the k9k motor. It produces 65 BHP and 160 Nm. The petrol engine in the Verito is a 1.4-litre unit producing 75 BHP and 110 Nm. A CNG version is offered to fleet operators and used by the taxi market, where the Verito is very popular. Mahindra is also developing an electric version of the Verito. The company acquired REVA, which is a pioneer in electric cars.

What about Renault? Renault started afresh in 2010. It launched the Koleos SUV and Fluence. This was followed by a re-badged Micra, called the Pulse. Sales have been nothing to talk about with less than 4000 units being sold last year. Now Renault launched the Duster compact crossover and has received 6000 bookings in 5 days!

Faisal Ali Khan is the owner/operator of MotorBeam.com, a website covering the auto industry of India.

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17 Comments on “How Renault Logan Became Mahindra Verito...”


  • avatar
    Syke

    Thank you. That rear 3/4s view has just made the Pontiac Aztec look very attractive by comparison. That is one fugly car.

  • avatar

    Why Faisal? Indians distrust French cars? Are parts too expensive? Do Indians not buy newcomers?

    The Duster here is quite ah9it, too. Though tge Sandero sells more, then Logan and finally Duster. Here the Duster is 2x as expensive as Logan and Sandero. But it’s an ‘it’ car for the momment.

  • avatar
    sching

    Yes, why indeed, Faisal? Why did the Logan do so poorly – was it because of the reasons Marcelo mentions, or that Renault simply did not understand the economics of the Indian market?

    Or maybe, as I channel my inner conspiracy theorist, Mahindra was a little less than “enthusiastic” selling the Logan just so that Renault would be forced to sell the rights?

    • 0 avatar

      Sching, I doubt Mahindra would be interested in the Logan at first. The Logan is still their worst selling car, even though sales are much better than it was during Renault days.

      Main reason for failure was no brand building. They just came and launched the Logan. While VW did quite the opposite. They launched the Phaeton, Touareg, Passat, Jetta, Beetle, etc. Then they came with the Polo and Vento. So people perceive VW as a premium brand.

  • avatar
    niky

    The problem is the pricing. By lopping off the boot to drastically reduce the price, Mahindra made the car a good buy, where Renault could not.

    This is the same trick Suzuki did with the Swift sedan… which turned an arguably incredibly attractive hatchback into the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

  • avatar
    SuperACG

    I actually think it’s a decent looking car. I do like the rear 3/4…if it’s a 5-door hatch! If it’s a mail-slot trunk, then you lost me…

    • 0 avatar

      This is a ‘traditional’ sedan. 4 doors. the trunk opening is quite large and it’s easy to put things into it. This is the beauty of this particular project. While overall quite short, it’s tall, wide with galore of space for people and bags. It’s a car that is ‘honest’. You get what you see. For a good price.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    Renault seem to have little luck in developing market. Or at least in Asian developing market. The last time it was present in Indonesia, it sold like 2 vehicles in an entire year! Hard to attract dealers, parts distributors, etc to carry your product with numbers like these! I don’t think they’re no longer active here.

    • 0 avatar

      I think this has a lot to do with internal politics and turf rights. Nissan probably doesn’t like Renault going into its ‘home’ or ‘matural’ market, so it defends it as much as possible. Then some guys from Renault decide they should make a go, but since there’s that inner indecision, the planning suffers and half-hearted steps are taken. Too bad for the consumer. Maybe when they launch the Lodgy (MPV version) they’ll be able to make in-roads in Indonesia. As you’ve said, that is what Indonesians buy. It’ll be very hard though as Toyota seems to have that market locked.

      Does Nissan sell the Livina there?How does it do? The Livina is connected by the hip to the Logan platform so that could be an indication of the market’s willingness to buy a Renault-Nissan MPV.

  • avatar
    camchennai

    The main reason for Logan to fail in India is Mahindra, Renault chose a wrong partner!! M & M is known for their jeeps and suv’s and not cars, in fact this is the first car from their stable. And another big blunder selling this car along side other M & M products, so people slip to other products in their stable rather than choosing Logan. Indian’s have a bad habit of relating the price of the car with its size so people end up buying SUV’s or MUV’s for this cost and M & M has a good line up to offer on that front.

    Even today Logan is considered as an work horse, i have seen lot of cab crossing 2L KM in their odo without having any trouble, the Renault 1.5 dci engine is absolute breeze and nothing can beat it.

    After the split there was some movement in sales of Verito by few hundred units and its short lived. There are more new matured and well designed products available in the market and Verito sales are declining. M & M plans to revamp the styling and launch an updated version in another 3 weeks but since they don’t have good exposure in cars and their dealers can be considered next to worst, there won’t be any significant improvement in sales.

  • avatar
    Racer8055

    Some corrections to the article and other’ comments…

    1. The car was branded Mahindra-Renault Logan. Mahindra has been around for 50+ years and is a trusted brand with India’s largest selling UV, the Bolero and largest selling SUV, the Scorpio. So no question of ‘lack of brand awareness’

    1.1 Mahindra is now selling luxury XUV in the 15 L price range and is now an established premium brand. So to address CamChennai’s point, Mahindra was the prefect partner from a brand POV.

    2. While hatchback customers were looking for a sleek and trendy sedan as an aspirational product to move up to, the Logan was a dowdy, boxy, dull looking car with 80s styling.

    3. Premium hatchbacks like i-20 and cheaper sedans like Vista had better curb appeal and sold for less.

    3.1 PRICE-> although it undercut modern cars like Fiesta, City and Verna, it still wasn’t cheap ….but looked cheap.

    4. Bickering between partners prevented them from executing a simple nose job that would have worked wonders.

    5. The chopped sub-4m version has not launched yet! We suspect it will look uglier and cannot make any prediction about its success

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