Renault-Nissan to launch low-cost cars in 2015; see 3.5 bln euro savings

CHENNAI, India, July 16 Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:56am EDT

CHENNAI, India, July 16 (Reuters) - Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co Ltd expect to launch low-cost cars from a joint manufacturing platform in 2015, an alliance executive said on Tuesday.

Christian Mardrus, alliance managing director for logistics, did not give any details on the cars, but said the two companies expect to achieve joint savings of 3.5 billion euros ($4.57 billion) in 2015 as they pool more of their operations.

Renault and Nissan had previously set a joint savings goal of 4 billion euros in 2016.

"We have more and more convergence in our products. In 2015 when we launch the first low-cost car, we will definitely do more than 3 billion euros in cost savings," Mardrus said during a visit by senior Renault-Nissan executives to Chennai, where the alliance has a manufacturing plant.

Nissan on Monday announced it would manufacture cars from its revived Datsun brand at the Chennai plant, and sell them for less than 400,000 rupee ($6,700) in India from next year.

The car is the first of several Datsun models that will be launched in 2014 in Indonesia, Russia and South Africa.

($1 = 0.7664 euros) ($1 = 59.8550 Indian rupees) (Writing by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Miral Fahmy)

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