Indian automotive industry has witnessed a number of joint ventures, some fruitful, some failed. One such short-term venture happened between Mahindra and Renault back in 2005. Logan is the first product of this JV which came into existence in 2007. What went into the idea behind Renault Logan? Was it a success or a failure? Let’s find out each and every detail we can dig out from the past!
Renault and Mahindra JV and the making of Logan
Mahindra and Mahindra Automotive division has been a pioneer in the industry since 1945. From farm equipment to passenger cars, Mahindra has made a name globally. Renault, a French automaker, is known for innovation in terms of design and technology in the automotive world. But, things have not been good for Renault in India. Engineers at Renault decided to introduce a robust car in Europe under €5,000. It became an instant hit in the European market.
Mahindra wanted to grab the opportunity and introduce the same in India. So, the JV came into existence. A manufacturing plant was set up and the Logan started to roll out in 2007.
What were the plans with Renault Logan?
Renault Logan is one of the few entry-level sedans that have been introduced in India. The JV sets target sales of 2500 units per month. Launched in April 2007, Mahindra and Renault were very positive as the festive season was approaching. Did Renault Logan ride the wave of high sales? We’ll find that out soon after we dig a bit into the car’s specs and features.
Mahindra Renault Logan | Engine Specifications
|Engine||1.4-litre MPFi||1.5-litre dCi CRDi|
|Power||75hp@5,500 rpm||65hp@4,000 rpm|
Renault Logan offered 2 engine options, a petrol and a diesel. Though they were not the most powerful ones in the market, they were fuel-efficient, especially the diesel one. The driving dynamics of the Logan were pretty good with low ride height and raised suspensions. Overall, Logan was fun to drive.
USPs of the Renault Logan
Space like no one else!
The company decided to keep the car over 4,000mm. This made more room inside the cabin and even in the boot. There were enough legroom, headroom and shoulder room. The rear seat was capable enough to seat 3 people easily. The Logan had the widest rear seat in the segment.
Safety at a time when no one cared!
It is evident from the past that Indian cars were not safe for a very long time. But the Logan was meant to be safer than the rivals. It offered driver side airbag, ABS with EBD, 3-point seatbelts, collapsible steering wheel and much more, making it a safe choice.
Check this out: The History Behind Airbags In Modern Cars
Comfort for everyone!
The fabric upholstery with velour textile added to the comfort of the occupants. At the rear, 3 headrests were offered to increase safety as well as the comfort of the rear passengers. It also had an optional armrest for that added bit.
Renault Logan: Was I a good car?
Yes, indeed. All the features and comfort was superb, considering the price tag of ₹4.66lakhs. But, there were a lot of factors that led to the failure of the car as well as the JV itself. Opposed to the target sales of 2500 units a month, the company merely reached 500 units per month. Even the festive season was not able to turn the tide. By 2010, Logan sales plunged to an all-time low leading to a commutative loss of over ₹580crores and the JV was dissolved. What led to such a failure, even after being from two of the most renowned automotive brands?
2008 Economic Crisis
The whole world underwent a recession this year, India was also not spared. This led to the low demand of the car.
Logan was put up against Tata Indigo and Maruti Suzuki Dzire, it was not meant to take on such established rivals.
The French car had an outdated European design which Indians were not happy with. Hyundai had already made it evident that design and quality can surely reside in one product and Indians had their hopes high from the French car. It failed to deliver.
You increase the space inside the cabin by crossing the 4-metre mark. This led to an excise duty double as that of the sub-4 metre sedans. Thus the price increased and led the car unworthy against the rivals in the eyes of Indian buyers.
And this is how the Renault Logan became a car of past. In 2010, Mahindra bought 49% shares of Renault in JV. The Renault Logan was relaunched as Mahindra Verito, a story for some other day!
Take a look: 10 Failed Sedans in India from Big Car Manufacturers
What do you think of the Renault Logan? Let us know in the comments section below.