Magnite has single-handedly managed to keep Nissan afloat in India but the brand needs more volume-oriented models to secure its medium-term future
Both Nissan and its alliance partner Renault entered 2021 with a sole objective of resuscitating their ailing business in India. An insignificant product portfolio led to a negligible market share which in turn led to a heavily under-utilized production facility. Both brands were given one last chance with their respective market specific compact crossovers – the Renault Kiger and Nissan Magnite.
Nissan Magnite at a glace
The sub-4m SUV which shares its underpinnings with the Renault Kiger is available with a 1.0-liter three-cylinder petrol engine which can be specified in naturally aspirated or turbocharged avatar. The base NA motor is good for 72 hp and 96 Nm of torque while the turbo variant delivers 100 hp and 160 Nm. Transmission lineup include a standard 5-speed manual and an optional CVT.
An aggressive pricing strategy (the launch price started at INR 4.99 lakh but now its around INR 5.62 lakh ex-showroom), youthful styling and well equipped interior are the strong selling points. The SUV’s 4-star crash test rating in the ASEAN NCAP also goes a long way in bolstering its appeal among the increasingly safety conscious Indian customers.
Nissan India December 2021 Sales
Since its launch, the Nissan Magnite has managed to garner over 72,000 bookings in the country, thus giving the Japanese brand a much needed shot in the arm. Thanks to its one-product-wonder, Nissan India has settled into a rhythm when it comes to domestic sales numbers. In December 2021, the automaker managed to dispatch 3,010 units most of which were accounted for by the Magnite.
While this sales figure doesn’t exactly scream competitive, especially with respect to leading OEMs in the country, it is anyway a huge step in the right direction given how bad the situation was for Nissan in 2020. To put it into perspective, the YoY growth rate last month stood at an impressive 358% (657 units sold in December 2020).
How did Nissan perform in 2021 overall?
Starting off with a weak base in 2020, Nissan ended 2021 with a YoY growth in dispatch (wholesales) of over 1400% at 36,173 units. With Magnite continuing to post consistent sales, the company looks set for another good year but we expect the YoY growth rate in 2022 to be in two digit figure at best.
While we don’t expect any significant new launches by the brand in the new year, one can expect special editions and variant extensions of the Magnite to keep it attractive in an increasingly competitive sub-4m SUV segment.
What next for Nissan?
Nissan India’s current portfolio consists of just two products – Kicks and Magnite. In order to secure the medium-term future in India, Nissan must actively explore new top-hats on Magnite’s cost-optimized modular architecture to cover other volume rich sub-segments. For instance, a well priced 7-seat derivative of this platform would be an interesting proposition to take on the brisk-selling Maruti Ertiga.