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Rediff News  All News  » Business » Datsun's redi-GO revs up low-cost entry to Motown

Datsun's redi-GO revs up low-cost entry to Motown

June 04, 2016 09:38 IST

The redi-GO will take on Maruti Suzuki’s best-seller Alto, Hyundai’s Eon, and Renault’s Kwid

The redi-GO compact hatchback, set for Tuesday launch by Nissan’s sister brand Datsun, is expected to carry an aggressive price tag to attract large volumes in the low-cost segment.

The redi-GO will take on Maruti Suzuki’s best-seller Alto, Hyundai’s Eon, and Renault’s Kwid in a segment which has demand for more than 30,000 units a month.

While there has been no official word from Datsun on the price of the redi-GO, the company did put out the price on its website for a brief while before removing it. The redi-GO’s price stood at Rs 2.39 lakh, according to the website, making it the cheapest car in the category.

If that is the starting price of the redi-GO, it could even rival Tata Nano, the country’s cheapest car. In April, Datsun officials had said that redi-GO price would start at Rs 2.5 lakh.

When contacted, a company spokesperson said the actual price of the redi-GO would be disclosed during its commercial launch on Tuesday. Bookings for the car opened last month. Buyers can book the car on Snapdeal, an e-commerce website, by paying Rs 5,000, a non-refundable amount.

The Renault-Nissan combine is going for a two-pronged attack on the Alto 800, the country’s largest-selling car. The SUV (sport utility vehicle)-like Kwid has already lapped up 125,000 bookings since its launch a year ago. But if the redi-GO is priced at Rs 239,000, it will undercut the Kwid by Rs 23,000.

The Datsun will be made at the same Chennai-based unit where the Kwid is made. Renault has been struggling to match supply with demand for the Kwid, despite being in production for a year.

The redi-GO shares the same three-cylinder, 800cc petrol-powered engine as seen on the Kwid. Due to its light weight, the Datsun car is expected to deliver 25km per litre. While it is based on the same platform, it does not share the SUV-like styling of the Kwid but it is styled as a smart-city car.

If the redi-GO is received by the market with the same enthusiasm as the Kwid, Maruti Suzuki won’t stand to lose much sales of the Alto as the redi-GO will suffer the same constraints in production expansion as the Kwid.

From 4,000 units a month, Kwid’s production was raised to 9,500 units a month as of April-end. However, the waiting period of the car is still six months.

The redi-GO will have the same level of high localisation content as the Kwid, 98 per cent.

The hatchback is based on the Common Module Family (CMF) engineering architecture developed by Renault-Nissan.

This will be the third attempt by Nissan to give the Datsun brand a push in India. The struggling brand launched two models - Go and Go+ - in the past two years, without much success.

The brand was brought to India to compete in the price-sensitive segment where Maruti Suzuki is the leader.

Swaraj Baggonkar in Mumbai