According to reports, the Renault-Nissan Alliance has announced in a statement that it will be independently developing several passenger cars for the Indian market, which will include entry-level designs. This follows on an announcement made by Bajaj Auto last week that it has effectively canned a project to develop a low-cost minicar model for the Alliance members.

Initial plans for the minicar had Bajaj Auto, India’s second-largest motorcycle manufacturer by sales, teaming up with Renault and Nissan in a JV project on a 50:50 basis, with Bajaj holding half the stake and Renault and Nissan sharing the other half – the effort was to see Bajaj introduce the low-cost model next year to compete with the Tata Nano in its home market.

With several differences coming about, the three companies then decided to settle on a partnership that would have seen Bajaj developing the model and Renault and Nissan responsible for its branding and marketing.

Now, that’s off too – Bajaj’s MD Rajiv Bajaj stated that the company has shelved the minicar project because it found the venture commercially unviable. “From 2007 until 2009, we had an initial plan with Renault and Nissan to develop a low-cost small car which would be like the Nano,” Bajaj was qouted as saying, but during a meeting in November 2009 he told Carlos Ghosn that the minicar was unviable.

Bajaj stated that the partnership with Renault and Nissan continues intact, adding that his company will unveil a low-cost commercial vehicle – which will have passenger applications as well – in New Delhi in January that will also be showcased to both Renault and Nissan which, should they decide to go ahead with the project, will develop the passenger application aspects of the platform.