Tata Motors’ Nano may be struggling to survive, but Renault-Nissan alliance Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn is glad the group followed the lead of “visionary” Ratan Tata’s dream project as it has contributed to Renault’s success in India.
“I was the first one, may be the only one, to say he (Ratan Tata) was a visionary on launching the Nano,” Ghosn told reporters at the Geneva Motor Show.
He was responding to a query on whether the story of low-cost cars is coming to an end as Nano is struggling while the alliance’s Datsun brand has not met with the success it was expecting.
He said the alliance reacted to the potential when Nano was brought to the market.
“Nano, we acted on it. This whole A platform, we did Kwid which is a Renault car and will be followed by a Nissan car on the same platform,” Ghosn said.
Giving credit of the success of Renault Kwid to the path shown by Tata, he said: “We followed and I am glad we followed the Nano because the success of Renault today in India is mainly based on the success of the Kwid.” Nissan is going to be following with products on the same platform, he added.
On Datsun, Ghosn said: “We are not as successful with Datsun as we would have liked it to be but when you are in a long-term strategy we don’t expect success to come immediately.”
He said Datsun will have to try, analyze what is good, modify and perform until it achieves success.
“The success of Renault today, which is the number one European brand in India, followed many failures. We started with Mahindra and it didn’t work. We are learning our way,” Ghosn said.
He said nobody is successful in a new market in the first attempt and patience is needed, particularly in a country like India which is a “complicated and competitive market for those who are not Indians and have come to the Indian market”.
“That’s why I am amazed at some car makers getting out of some important markets. If you are not ready to invest and accept failures and learn from them and try again many times, it is better not to go there at all,” he said.
“So expect us to continue to be relentlessly trying again until we are successful,” Ghosn added.