Companies

Nissan plans under Rs 3-lakh car

New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on January 06, 2012

Nissan is keen on an affordable car for India which will be part of the sub-Rs 3 lakh category, according to Mr Andy Palmer, Executive Vice-President.

“We will look at an affordable car without a doubt. There are several sub-segments (under the Rs 3-lakh space) and we have ambitions to traverse as many of those as practically possible,” he told Business Line.

“The vision is more than mature but what I cannot tell you is the time of launch. We have a very competent engineering capability in Chennai and will be foolish not to use it,” Mr Palmer added.

However, Nissan is categorical that the car will be positioned above Rs 2-lakh which means that the Tata Nano will continue to be the lowest entry price point for buyers. “We are a carmaker and will offer genuine cars. What we are interested is people coming from the Nano, motorcycles and so on,” he said.

The Nissan offering will be part of a segment where the Maruti Alto is the market leader with monthly sales averaging over 20,000 units. Hyundai recently joined this arena with the Eon which retails at a slight premium to the Alto.

Nissan's partner for the light commercial vehicle business, Ashok Leyland, has already made it known that it is not interested in the car space. The company will, therefore, either execute the project on its own or through the alliance with Renault which already rolls out products from the ‘V' platform in Chennai.

From Nissan's point of view, the affordable car will be critical to ramping up volumes in India and strengthening its brand in the personal buying space. For the moment, its business model has exports (of the Micra compact) taking up a lion's share. “At present, our exports are very high but I see that balance changing as we grow our market presence in India,” Mr Palmer said.

Nissan's ally, Renault, is also working on an affordable car in an identical price category. Reports have been doing the rounds that this will be a global product where India will service other markets. It now remains to be seen if the Renault-Nissan combine will look at a new facility, beyond Chennai, for the affordable car project as the potential numbers will be very high.

> gmurali@thehindu.co.in

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Published on January 06, 2012
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