BOMBAY -- Renault aims to sell 4 million cars globally by 2010, up from 2.5 million now, its chief executive Louis Schweitzer said on Monday, as the French carmaker expands its operations to newer countries such as India.
Sales will be boosted by its no-frills Logan cars, Schweitzer said in Bombay, where the company signed a joint venture with Indian utility vehicle and tractor maker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. to make the sedan.
"India is a major growth country and could become the most populated country in the world in this century, which means a huge opportunity for us," Schweitzer told a news conference.
Renault is also in discussions with China's Dongfeng Automobile Co., which already collaborates with its Japanese partner Nissan Motor Co. in China.
"We are still discussing with them. It's moving ahead but there is no specific deadline," Schweitzer said.
China and India are the world's fastest expanding major economies, and offer huge potential for growth.
Renault said earlier this month the company could "decisively" beat its target of selling 1 million Logan cars by 2010 through expansion outside western European market.
The French car maker has already raised its sales target for Logan from an original 700,000 to 1 million by 2010 after a strong debut and deals to manufacture the car in a number of other countries, including Iran and Russia.
Renault will build a new 50,000 unit per year manufacturing plant in partnership with Mahindra in India, which is expected to go on stream by the middle of 2007.
The French firm will hold 49 percent in Mahindra Renault Ltd., with Mahindra holding 51 percent.
The Logan will be launched in a number of new markets in 2005, including Syria, Slovenia, Poland and western Europe, with production slated to start in Russia, Morocco and Colombia.
The new markets are becoming increasingly important to Renault, as demand in its traditional western European base shows no sign of recovery with cut-throat pricing putting pressure on margins.
Renault will also look at India to make some of the components for its joint venture with Nissan and set up a technical center for its global operations.