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Renault inaugurates Global Design Studio in Mumbai
by Ajay Joyson   
 
Patrick le Quement, Senior Vice President Corporate Design-Renault Group, lighting the lamp for the inauguration. Click for larger images
Sylvain Bilaine, MD Renault India (left) and Patrick Lecharpy, DIrector Advanced Design Renault S.A.S (centre) addressing the press.
Photos: Makarand Baokar

On Wednesday this week Renault inaugurated their global design studio in Mumbai, India. The Renault Design India Studio is the sixth edition to Renault's international network of satellite design centres following those in Barcelona, Paris, Kihueng (Korea), Sao Paolo and Bucharest (Romania) and is the third to be inaugurated this year.

Patrick le Quement, Senior Vice President Corporate Design-Renault Group and Patrick Lecharpy, DIrector Advanced Design Renault S.A.S
Dacia Logan Steppe concept (2006)

Speaking at the inauguration, Patrick le Quement, Senior Vice President Design of Renault, said: "We started Renault Design India as an observational unit. At that time, we were hoping that we would find enough local talent to commit ourselves to ramping this studio up to a fully fledged Design Centre to complement our international network of satellite centres. Therefore, today I am extremely happy to be here to inaugurate the newest addition to the Renault design family of studios around the world."

The studio which began in November 2006, now has the facility to deliver complete cars from start to finish and contribute to the global Renault Design network at any stage of the design process. 16 employees, of which 14 are Indians, work under Studio Design Chief Designer Ajay Jain who in turn answers to Patrick Lecharpy, Director of Advanced Design for Renault.

Some of the products that Renault Design India has already contributed to include the Logan Steppe Concept car presented at Geneva two years ago, the seven-seater Logan Steppe shown at the New Delhi Auto Expo earlier this year and the Man Machine Interface Concept from the 2006 Paris Motor Show. It has also been responsible for the Logan Edge LE, and the Logan Sport and face-lifted Logan that are both due for launch soon. But the most significant project taking place at the Mumbai studio is the design development of the ULC (Ultra Low-cost Car) which will compete with the Tata Nano and be made in collaboration with Bajaj Auto

Renault India's Managing Director, Sylvain Bilaine commented: "The ULC has crossed a very important milestone. The design has been finalised, everything has been going as per schedule and we expect the car to be out by early 2011. Renault Design India has played a vital part in the ULC project and the ULC will continue to be the core activity for Renault Design India".