Nissan has decided to discontinue its partnership with Bajaj for the sourcing of an ultra-low cost (ULC) car, RE60 according to remarks made by Nissan executives in India.
"We will not be continuing our relationship with Bajaj Auto on that low-cost car," Nissan's corporate vice-president, Africa, Middle East and India, Toru Hasegawa said on the sidelines of the launch of its multi-passenger vehicle Evalia in New Delhi this week.
The remarks suggest that a Renault badged model from the RE60 project is also off.
At the time of unveiling the RE60 at the Auto Expo in New Delhi in January 2012, Bajaj Auto managing director Rajiv Bajaj had said it would be up to Renault-Nissan whether to source it or not after seeing the product, the Economic Times reported.
Bajaj had kept the expected price of the ULC at US$3,000. It was expected to be available in India in 2011, but was delayed due to differences between the partners on pricing and design. While Renault-Nissan wanted to price the car at around $2,500, Bajaj insisted on lowering the overall cost of ownership.
Bajaj Auto was supposed to design, develop and manufacture a ULC under an agreement with Renault-Nissan alliance in 2009. As per the agreement, the Renault-Nissan alliance would sell the ULC under their badging. Renault-Nissan also signed an MoU with Bajaj Auto in 2010 to take forward the ULC car project.
The Bajaj ULC cooperation with Renault was placed in doubt when reports emerged of a Renault project for its own entry level 800cc model on a platform that could be shared throughout the Renault-Nissan group.