Ratan Tata and his eponymous company sent the automotive world buzzing with news of their $2,500 car, the lilliputian Nano. At the time, we reported that Bajaj Auto, which is partnered with Renault-Nissan, was going to announce a $3,000 car. Turns out the companies have found a way to cut $500 off the price to create a $2,500 competitor. To make this car the three companies are creating a new company with ownership split between Renault (25%), Nissan (25%) and Bajaj Auto (50%). No name on the car other than the codename "ULC" which we can only guess stands for "Uncomfortable, Little and Cheap." The car is to be sold in India in early 2011 as the primary market. Press release below the jump.
Bajaj Auto and the Renault-Nissan Alliance to build the car code- named ULC with wholesale price range starting from 2500 USD
PARIS/PUNE/TOKYO (May 12, 2008) - Mr. Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director of Bajaj and Mr.
Carlos Ghosn, President and CEO of Renault and President and CEO of Nissan, today
announced they will form a joint-venture company to develop, produce and market the car
code-named ULC with a wholesale price range starting from 2500 USD . The new joint-venture
company will be 50% owned by Bajaj Auto, 25% by Renault and 25% by Nissan.
Targeting the growing Indian new vehicle market, this ULC will be made at an all-new plant to be
constructed in Chakan (Maharashtra state) in India. Initial planned capacity will be 400,000 units
per year. Sales will start in early 2011 in India, as a primary market, with growth potential in other
emerging markets around the world.
The feasibility has already extended into Joint Product Development and the project is on line to
meet targeted performance & cost.