Renault S.A. is a French automaker producing cars, vans, buses, tractors, and trucks. Due to its alliance with Nissan, it is currently the world''s fourth largest automaker. Headquartered in Boulogne-Billancourt, Renault owns the Romanian automaker Automobile Dacia and the Korean automaker Renault Samsung Motors. The Lebanese-Brazilian Carlos Ghosn is the current CEO. The company''s most successful cars to date are the Renault Clio and the Renault Laguna, and its core market is Europe. The company is known for numerous revolutionary designs, security technologies and motor racing.
In the late seventies and early eighties, Renault began to involve itself more heavily in motorsport, setting up a dedicated motorsport division called Renault Sport, and winning the Le Mans24 Hours (with the Renault Alpine A442, built in collaboration with newly-acquired Alpine) while achieving success in both rallying (with the Renault 5 Turbo) and Formula One. Initially, Renault''s entry into Formula One in 1977 was ridiculed when the team''s first design included such curiosities as a turbocharger (built by Garrett). However, the team won their first race on home soil in Dijon, two years later and by the early eighties, every front-running Formula One team used turbochargers.
Renault appeared in 2005 on the Indian auto scene when it signed a partnership with Mahindra & Mahindra. In April 2010, this partnership was restructured so M&M is now responsible for the management of the Logan in the Indian market. Renault continues to support M&M and the product through a License Agreement and supply key components, including the engine and transmission to the Logan. The company, has since, spread its tentacles far and wide. From a joint venture with Bajaj Auto to a logistics platform in Poona to a brand new design centre in Mumbai, Renault hasn''t looked back.
An observational unit was set up in India in 2005. Renault Design India has since been a key player in a number of important projects such as the Logan Steppe Concept and R&D into luxury textiles that reflect the heritage of India. It was only in 2008 that the unit became a full fledged Design Centre to design vehicles for the Indian and regional markets. Renault Design India is the first vehicle Design Centre to be set up by a Western auto manufacturer in India. This gives Renault an opportunity to reinforce its international design network.
The Renault Nissan and Bajaj Auto partnership happened keeping in mind the idea of making affordable cars. This partnership was set up in 2008 aiming to produce and sell the ULC at an entry-level price of US$ 2,500 (€1,865). The ULC will be produced in Chakan, Maharashtra, in a specially built plant. The car which is being built primarily for India will go on sale in India in 2011, and could subsequently be sold in other emerging markets.
Renault also opened a logistics site in Poona, Maharashtra, in 2008. The company plans to ensure that this platform turns out components for all Renault-Nissan Alliance production plants. The Poona site will thus contribute to Renault''s international development.
At the AutoExpo 2010, held in New Delhi, earlier this year, Renault announced its plans to introduce its entire range in India, in the next four years. The company plans to produce most of their vehicles in Chennai. The company plans to launch the Fluence et Koleos model in 2011 and complete an extensive distribution network through the country before August 2012. Plans are on to cover a minimum of 35 cities. Besides this, the company also plans to build a Sales and Marketing team.
On March 17, 2010, Renault-Nissan Alliance Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn inaugurated the Chennai plant in the presence of State government representatives of Tamil Nadu. This first dedicated Alliance global plant will have a production capacity of up to 400,000 units per year and will operate in full compliance with Alliance global manufacturing processes and quality standards. Its production management system, launched for the first time, in a Renault and Nissan plant, is based on mutual knowledge-sharing combined with the best practices incorporated from both the companies.