Car major Renault India, the fully-owned subsidiary of Renault SAS, kicked off its export activity from the Ennore port with a shipment of 350 Dusters to United Kindom and Ireland under the brand name Dacia.
Renault's manufacturing facility at Oragadam, near Chennai, is currently the only global facility to produce the right-hand drive Duster, which will be sold in the domestic market as well as exported from here.
Nearly 19,000 units of Duster were sold in India between July and November. "From becoming one among the top 10 markets, India would rise to be a third important auto market for Renault in terms of sales by 2020.
Dacia is customised to the European regulatory norms concerning safety and emission and further custom designed in terms of colour and interiors and enhanced air-conditioning to suit the customer tastes,” said Marc Nassif, MD, Renault India.
On the domestic market focus, Marc said, "We will continue to focus on meeting domestic demand in India while exploring new opportunities in exports, and in making India the global hub for right-hand drive vehicles.”
The Ennore port incorporated as a corporate entity operates Roll-on/Roll off(RO-RO) terminal for car exports with separate berths for individual companies such as Toyota, Ford, Nissan and Renault. Velumani, chairman, Ennore Port (EPL) said the total car exports from the port is expected to touch 3 lakh cars by next year.
"Exports from companies like Toyota is likely to go up by 80,000 units next year and Nissan exports are expected to soar to 1.8 lakh units. We don't have the data on Renault export numbers,” he said.
When asked about the status of the proposed container terminal at a cost of Rs.1,408 crore in 2008 for handling 1.5 million containers, Velumani said fresh bids would be called for following the exit of Spanish port operator-led consortium Grup Maritim TCB SL that won the container terminal bid project in 2008.
Grup Maritim alongwith Eredene Capital, Lanco Infratech and Obrascon Huarte Lain SA floated a consortium company, the Bay of Bengal Gateway Terminal to execute the project. The Spanish company recently exited the project.
"The Spanish company was not able to achieve the financial closure we were told and we would come out with a fresh tendering process,” Ennore port chairman said.
The project cost has been revised to R1,600 crore from R1,408 crore and the port is working out the modalities to come out with a fresh bid proposal, he added.