India’s Bajaj in talks with Renault to make small car

NEW DELHI, July 28, 2007 (AFP) – Indian two-wheeler maker Bajaj Auto said Saturday it was in talks with French automaker Renault for a business partnership.

The two companies issued a statement follows media reports they were close to concluding a deal for Renault’s proposed plans to manufacture a 3,000-dollar car.

In it, they said they were in “preliminary deliberations to jointly understand customer requirements and business potential for very competitive vehicles in India.”

“If concluded favourably, this could lead to a long-term partnership between Renault and Bajaj for the development of the business so conceived,” Bajaj Auto said.

A top-level Renault team was in India last week to discuss the proposed partnership, the Economic Times reported on Friday.

India is a key development target for Renault, which launched the low-cost Logan model here in April in conjunction with the Indian group Mahindra and Mahindra.

Renault is also building a manufacturing plant in the southern city of Chennai in partnership with the Mahindra group and Japan’s Nissan.

India’s car market is forecast to grow by ten percent annually to reach