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Renault to stop selling diesel cars in India from next year

NEW DELHI: French automaker Renault has decided to stop sale of diesel cars in India from April 2020, once the Bharat Stage (BS) VI emission norms are implemented, mirroring the announcement made by the country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki.

Thierry Bolloré, the global CEO of Renault, confirmed that the company will stop selling diesel cars in India from next year. On whether Renault will do so from April 2020, he said, “I believe so.”

“Diesel is naturally decreasing in terms of proportion of sale globally. It is massive, but not sudden. Today, there is a clear regulatory approach; we have decided to limit the development of diesel powertrain when Euro VII comes,” he said. The share of diesel cars in the Indian market fell to an almost decade-low of about 19% at the end of FY19, according to industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

Bolloré clarified that the company’s ‘Triber’ compact MPV, which was unveiled in Delhi on Wednesday, will come with only a petrol engine. On electric vehicles, Bolloré said, “EV is part of the mid-term plan for 2022 and the company will look at local manufacturing of the same in India.”

On partnerships, Bolloré said the company is open to tie-ups with local players, especially for EVs, including the EV ecosystem.

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On the government’s proposal of moving to complete EV manufacturing by 2030, Bolloré said he wouldn’t be able to comment on whether 2030 “is too short or not”, but added, “I can appreciate it. This is a trend (world over), especially in big cities, they want clean mobility in city.”

On reports of its partnership talks with Fiat Chrysler Automobile, Bolloré said “the talks are behind us”, adding that with the magnitude of change on the anvil, all carmakers will be compelled to explore partnerships around the world, including India. “The world is changing very fast. With the magnitude of change on the horizon, which calls for a significant capex, it makes sense, if you have a right partner and at right place to share investments,” he said.

To whether Renault has approached a local carmaker for the Indian market or whether it has been approached by any Indian entity, Bolloré said, “Not yet.” He, however, added that the company will be open for talks.

According to Bolloré, a slowdown similar to the one seen in the Indian market over the last few months is visible the world over.
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