26 November 2007
The local motoring scene is in for some extra Va va voom, with French car manufacturer Renault announcing plans to start manufacturing its entry-level Sandero hatchback in South Africa from early 2009.
Speaking to reporters in Johannesburg on Wednesday, Patrick Pelata, Renault’s vice president of Asia-Africa projects, said the company would assemble the cars at a plant owned by its affiliate, Nissan Motor, in Rosslyn, north of Pretoria.
“South Africa is considered as an important market for Renault’s worldwide growth because of its growing automotive market, with an increase of 73% between 2003 and 2006,” Renault South Africa said in a statement.
The Sandero, “a new step in Renault’s globalisation,” will first be launched and produced in South America in December 2007 before arriving in Europe in mid-2008 and South Africa in early 2009.
While it is primarily aimed at the SA market, Pelata said the South African-built Sanderos might also be exported to other right-hand drive markets in Africa and Europe.
Pelata said the Sandero would compete in the AB segment, providing the South African public “with a bigsize car of 4.02 metres in length at a small-size price”.
At the same time, Pelata said Renault would be expanding its product offering for South African customers over the next few years, with vehicles ranging from entry-level to upper range – starting with the Twingo and the Koleos, both of which would arrive on the SA market in 2008.