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Renault considers developing low price car for emerging markets

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PARIS (AP) _ Renault SA is considering creating a cheaper version of its no-frills Logan sedan that would reportedly be sold for about $3,000 in India and other emerging markets.

``We're thinking about a car that's more competitive than the Logan,'' Renault spokeswoman Axelle de Ladonchamps said Thursday.

Labour unions will be the first to be informed of any such project, she said.

The French automaker, however, declined to confirm a report in the daily Le Figaro which said the company plans to hire 1,000 engineers in India to develop the low-cost model within three years.

Le Figaro said the project for the vehicle will shortly be presented to a company works council.

The new model would be aimed at emerging markets and would not be sold in Europe, according to the newspaper report.

Renault began selling the Logan in India in May through a joint venture with local automaker Mahindra & Mahindra, priced in a range of 428,000 rupees to 547,000 rupees ($9,700 to $12,400). In Europe, the Logan's base model sells for 7,600 euros ($10,100), de Ladonchamps said.

The Logan is sold in 51 countries on five continents, according to Renault's website.

Renault said Wednesday vehicle sales slipped 4.2 per cent in May from a year earlier, amid competition from Asian brands and an older product lineup. The automaker is hoping the launch of new and updated models in the second half of this year will stop the slide and bolster prospects in 2008. Asian and African sales were up 3.7 per cent.

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Renault considers developing low price car for emerging markets
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