Nissan-Renault's chief executive officer Carlos Ghosns $3,000 project to build a small car using Indian expertise could trigger off a new partnership for Renault in India with Bajaj Auto, local business daily The Economic Times said.
The small car partnership could be part of a larger alliance between Renault and Bajaj Auto covering commercial vehicles as well, the paper said.
BAL managing director Rajiv Bajaj is expected to meet Renault officials in Paris shortly to discuss a possible tie-up. Rajiv Bajaj, however, refused to comment when contacted, the paper said. Renault's current partner in India is Mahindra & Mahindra with which the French company has two separate joint ventures. The two partners, along with Renaults sister company Nissan Motor, are also putting up a greenfield plant in Chennai which will be used by all three.
M&M vice-chairman Anand Mahindra said that he had no comments to make on whether Renault was talking to Bajaj Auto but emphatically denied there were any talks with its French partner on the small car project, the paper said.
Sources say M&M is not interested in the 3000 usd car project because its long-term strategy is to be a global player in the sports utility vehicle market.