Nissan Motor Company is looking to enter the small car segment in India in a big way. The company has realized the need and growing demand for small cars in India and is planning a series of small cars priced below 5 lakhs.
The next three to four years will see 4 small cars from Nissan foray into the Indian car market. One of them could be on the K2 platform to be priced between 3 and 4 lakhs. An even cheaper small car is in the designing stage. Hinduja Group’s Defiance is entrusted with its development and the small car is likely to be priced between 2 to 3 lakhs. Nissan is also in talks with Bajaj Auto. If these talks go through positively, then we can expect Nissan to be on track with their planned compact car launches in India.
Mr. Giles Normand, Corporate Vice President of Nissan Motors in Africa, West Asia and India said that the company was looking forward to bring forth compact and cheaper cars due to increased demand. In India, Nissan is in a JV with Renault and have made an investment of Rs. 4,500 crore in 7 years at the Oragadam plant. Now, they are studying the option of plant capacity expansion to 4 lakh units by next year from the current yearly capacity of 2 lakh units. Kiminobu Tokuyama, Nissan Motor India Managing Director had this to say. “We do have a plan.. We are studying it right now.. we plan to increase the capacity to four lakh vehicles from the current two lakh units.
Both the Nissan Micra hatchback and 10th generation midsize Sunny sedan petrol variants are manufactured at the Oragadam plant. The Sunny sedan petrol will see an early 2012 launch. The Nissan Teana premium luxury sedan and X-Trail SUV too are retailed in India as Completely Built Units (CBU).
Nissan India looks at retailing 40,000 units this year, and expand their dealership network to 60 by March 2012. It stands at 45 now wand will expand to around 100 dealerships by March 2013 by which time it will cater to 80% of the country. CEO of Hover Automotive India, Dinesh Jain has termed reports regarding Nissan India and Hover Automotive India talks on for a joint venture (JV) as speculation, and both companies would continue to work together to cater to the Indian car market.