popular notchback, the Logan, will increase the options
before the ''upper B''- and ''lower C'' segment buyers in
India. The car will compete with models like the Hyundai
Accent, Maruti Esteem, Tata Indigo and Ford Ikon
the Indian markets opened up in the ''90s, leading global
carmakers from the US, Germany, Japan, Korea and Italy
have made their presence felt in India. The notable exception
have been the French auto companies, though with the recent
launch of Porsche''s vehicles (including the Cayenne, a
SUV) and others here that too has changed. Porsche, however,
is very much on the periphery and by bringing in completely
built units it seems unwilling to place its faith in the
country with any substantial investments.
French carmaker Renault, Europe''s fourth largest car maker,
known for vehicles like the distinctive looking Laguna,
Clio and Modus is looking at the fast growing ''B'' and
''C'' segments in India and hopes to introduce the Logan,
its ''C'' segment sedan.
company is reported to be on the verge of entering into
an agreement with Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), to
jointly manufacture the low-cost sedan in India.
Logan, earlier manufactured by Dacia, a state-owned Romanian
company in which Renault acquired a 51 per cent stake
for $50m in 1999, increasing it to 99 per cent, is being
targeted at emerging auto markets in Africa, Eastern and
Central Europe, Russia and Asian countries like India
at a very affordable Euro5,000 ($6,105), the Logan is
a simple and rugged looking compact notchback sedan and
plainer looking than the usual daringly styled Renault
models. The Logan incorporates the tall body design for
maximum interior space and comes powered by a Renault
engine. Built on the same platform as the new Nissan Micra,
Logan''s top end variant boasts features like ABS, airbags,
power assisted steering remote-controlled central locking,
electric windows, and CD player.
completely new vehicle, the Logan also breaks the tradition
of new launches from Renault being derivatives of its
older models. It is also the first vehicle in Renault''s
X90 programme and was developed as part of a pilot programme
in which digital simulation technology was used to design
and engineer the vehicle.
principally at third world countries, the Logan has been
designed with a critical one inch of extra ground clearance
(155mm) to cope with potholed roads and dirt tracks. Its
engine has also been reworked so that it runs well on
lower quality fuel and also complies with Euro IV emission
first vehicle to have emerged from Renault''s X90 programme,
the Logan is a three-box saloon with five full-size seats
and a large booth with cargo volume of 510 litres
larger than cars almost twice its size.
Logan is available in two engine variants of 1.4cc that
develops 75 horsepower and 83 lb-ft of torque, and the
larger 1.6cc-engine that can generate 90 bhp and 95 lb-ft
of torque. The 1.4cc-engine of the Dacia sedan can go
from 0 to 100km in 13 seconds with a top speed of 162km,
while the larger engine takes 11.5 seconds to reach 100km
with a top speed of 175 km.
a 4,250 mm length, a 1,975 mm width 1,525 mm height and
a light kerb weight of 925kg, the Renault Logan slots
well into the ''upper B''- and ''lower C'' segment in India
and will compete with models like the Hyundai Accent,
Maruti Esteem, Tata Indigo and Ford Ikon in India.
first sedan in M&M''s product line up, which consists
of utility vehicles Scorpio in the Rs6 - Rs7 lakh price
range, and the slightly cheaper Bolero, the base model
(without power steering, AC, stereo, power windows and
ABS) of the Renault Logan is likely to be priced in the
Rs3.5 lakh to Rs4 lakh range in India and will offer M&M
an aggressively priced model in the fast growing volume-end
of the ''C''-segment.
Renault is reported to be very keen on having a presence
in India, which is emerging among the world''s fastest
growing emerging markets.
is targeting 7,00,000 units a year of the Logan by 2010
in seven of the third world countries across Eastern and
Central Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Latin America,
North Africa and Asia.
Logan is currently produced only in Romania, Renault is
planning to set up an assembly line in China (where negotiations
with its likely partner, Dongfeng Motor are underway),
Russia, Morocco, Colombia and Iran.
joint venture between Renault and M&M in which the
latter is likely to hold a majority stake will have Rajesh
Jejurikar, M&M executive vice-president, marketing,
as its head and will be funded by the $100m raised through
an FCCB raised by M&M earlier this year.
industry sources confirm that the Logan will be sold through
the Mahindra dealership network and will probably boast
co-badging by Renault and Mahindra.