Log on to the Logan - India's first wide-body car
29 December 2007
Marking the entry of a European player into India's 'happening' car market, that too in the non-premium segment, the Mahindra – Renault Logan is set to become a hot-selling sedan in the country.
''India is Shining'', and nowhere is this shine more evident than on the gleaming bodies of beauties from far-off lands – we are talking cars here. Gone are the days of facing Hobson's choice of either a Hindustan Motors Ambassador or a Maruti 800; not only are fourth models being launched every third month by every second manufacturer, the burgeoning Indian car market is witnessing the entry of new players eager not to miss the greatest game in the future car market. For India is where the action is. With a vehicular growth rate of 16 per cent annually, and poised to grow likewise for the next decade, no manufacturer worth its annual sales report can afford to be absent from India.
While American, Japanese and Korean carmakers had already entered the fray, only the Europeans were lacking in strength. That has been somewhat compensated by the recent entrance of two European powerhouses, Volkswagen and Renault. Volkswagen, unlike its name which means ''people's car'', is targeting the premium segment with its first launch, the Passat, priced at Rs24.60 lakh. Renault, on the other hand, has partnered with Mahindra & Mahindra to offer the Logan at prices ranging from Rs4.27 lakh to Rs6.43 lakh.
Renault S A is a century-old French manufacturer of cars, vans, buses, tractors, and trucks, famous for introducing such iconic models as the Clio, the Laguna and the Mégane. It is also a notable name in motor sports, having the distinction of winning the first Grand Prix in 1906, and continues to be a name to reckon with in Formula 1.
Renault entered into a joint venture with Mahindra & Mahindra to bring their highly successful Logan, which had sold more than 4.5 lakh pieces in 51 countries in five continents, to the Indian buyer in April 2007. India's importance in the global scheme of things is evidenced by the presence of CEOs like Carlos Ghosn of Renault-Nissan and Rick Wagoner of General Motors at their respective car launches in India.
The Logan was born as a result of Project X90, announced by Renault in 1999 after the buyout of Dacia of Romania in 1998. It was introduced with great media fanfare in August 2004, and although initially criticised for its looks, gained wide acceptance and popularity as sales zoomed. The Logan is considered to be the best value for money, offering sedan-like facilities at the price of a hatchback. It is an iconic Romanian product with French dressing, and is by far the largest selling car in Romania.
In India, Renault launched the first right-hand version of the Logan in collaboration with the Mahindra group. Though a huge success initially, sales have petered out somewhat over the last few months. We will analyse the reasons later on. For now, let's focus on the vehicle.