Mahindra Renault plans two new launches this year

French car maker Renault is looking to introduce up to two new models in India with its partner Mahindra & Mahindra this year, although it has indefinitely postponed plans to launch products from its Chennai facility.

“Our Nashik facility (capacity) is under-utilised. We are actively looking at introducing one or two new models from the plant in this year in order to have better utilisation of the capacity,” a Renault India spokesperson told media.

Renault’s joint venture with M&M, Mahindra Renault, currently makes the Logan at the Nashik plant, which has an installed capacity of 50,000 units per year annum. It had produced 14,404 units in 2008-09 compared to 26,653 units in the previous fiscal due to fall in domestic car demand.

“We want to fully utilise the capacity,” the official said, but declined to give details of the forthcoming launches. Besides, the domestic market, the cars would also be exported to neighbouring countries, he added.

Renault had indefinitely put on hold introducing its cars in the Indian market from its upcoming Chennai plant on account of global slowdown, which has affected the firm’s worldwide operations.

Mahindra Renault was initially looking to introduce a seven-seater multi-utility vehicle from Renault’s global portfolio, but was scrapped after getting negative feedback in a market study.

Besides the joint venture, Renault India had last year announced plans to invest Rs. 4,500 crore over a period of seven years to produce four lakh cars annually from a car plant in Chennai in alliance with Japanese firm Nissan.

Renault had earlier planned to have four platforms to manufacture its vehicles and launch them by 2010, along with one or two imported models under completely built unit (CBU).

Source: Economic Times