After watching the Tata Nano post sales numbers smaller than its engine displacement, Renault gave up on its much publicized intention to build a truly inexpensive car to rival it. Then, a month ago, reports emerged that Renault was resuming work on a couple of low-priced cars for emerging markets, but this time it would work with its in-house partner, Nissan. That plan envisions an offering for €3,000 ($3,888 US) and another for €5,000 ($6,400 US), both of which would be more spendy than the Nano but might avoid the charge of being cheap – and nasty – and instead be considered affordable.

A report in Reuters talks to the man in charge, Gerard Detourbet, who has been in Chennai, India since at least August working on the program. Detourbet led the Dacia Logan project and is considered "Renault's low-cost car specialist" and "the father of entry-car programs." This one is reportedly codenamed A-Entry and will create a "'sub-entry' architecture" that will provide roominess beyond the vehicle's price and class, and use an engine with a displacement of 800 cubic centimeters.

It isn't aimed at the Nano, though – it means to take on the products that make up 45-50 percent of India's car market, like the Maruti Suzuki Alto and Hyundai Eon. According to Reuters, out of the 2.6-million-strong Indian car market the Maruti Suzuki line-up alone nabs one million registrations annually. The Alto 800 begins at 244,000 rupees ($4,440 US), the Eon at 300,000 rupees ($5,559 US), the Chevrolet Spark at about 316,000 ($5,750 US); if Renault can nail its price targets it will just about bracket those three and be right in the game.

Renault wants to get this car right and then ship it to other markets. Detourbet's wider mission is encapsulated in his assessment that "Once you've done battle with the world's best cheap car manufacturer, you can go into another country where there isn't a Maruti Suzuki and be relatively comfortable." Reports have said that we'll see it for the first time at the 2014 New Delhi Auto Expo. Meanwhile, Tata has gone back to the idea well, and the bank, to work on restoring the good fortunes it hasn't had with passenger cars in India in a long while.

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      • 2 Years Ago
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      TOTAL RESOURCES este distribuitor in Romania de piese auto aftermarket, lubrifianti, accesorii auto, jante, anvelope, gama completa de elemente si accesorii tuning , consumabile service pentru autovehicule si camioane. In prezent detinem un centru logistic care faciliteaza distributia reperelor auto in toata tara, in termen de 24 de ore de la validarea comenzii dumneavoastra. Comercializam piese auto si piese camioane din : Peste 250 de branduri . Piese auto pentru 55 de marci comercializate in Romania . Piese auto din 155 de categorii. Accesorii auto din peste 50 de categorii. Putem deservi peste 320 de orase din Romania
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wait, don't we (the US) sell a Chevy Spark too? If we have the same Chevy Spark as India...they must have a super stripper version because I'm sure ours is nowhere near as cheap as theirs...if we even have a Spark. Guess I have some googling to do. :p
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have checked the Nano in the past & was impressed. On paper, its far more durable (given its RWD) than the alternatives in an indian scenario (villiage mechanics) The only thing I dont like is small wheels, which dont seem a good look for indian roads It has an advanced engine, components are from reputable suppliers like Boch ... I suspect the biggest enemy is they are even more unsophisticated buyers than in the west. In 5 years they will wish they bought the cheaper Nano, by when Nano will be out of production. If folk bought for the right reasons, the Nano would be a hit, but sadly they dont. Indians will discover the KISS principle the hard way.
        • 2 Years Ago
        True. I was surprised by how good the Nano is. It is definitely not junk autoblog makes it out to be. The problem with Nano was the positioning - it was positioned as a "cheap" car.. the problem is that cars are an aspirational item and people buy them to show off.. you cannot show off a cheap car. Tata should have positioned the Nano as a smart option rather than as a cheap option.
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Once you've done battle with the world's best cheap car manufacturer, you can go into another country where there isn't a Maruti Suzuki and be relatively comfortable." This is a smart move and worth a shot, at least they acknowledge the tough competition being Maruti which the brand itself has become a bit of a cultural icon in India. I see Detourbet's logic, hopefully Maruti does not expand to the markets Renault wants to go with the car.