Undeterred by excise hike, Nissan to go ahead with SUV plans

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on March 12, 2018

Nissan says it will go ahead with its plan to launch a compact SUV (sports utility vehicle) despite the Government’s proposal to hike excise duty.

The SUV category has been doing well in the Indian market, bucking the overall slowdown in the auto industry.

The Budget proposes to hike excise duty on SUVs from 27 per cent to 30 per cent. This announcement may impact SUV sales, fears Abdul Majeed, Auto Practice Leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Takayushi Ishida, Managing Director, Nissan Motor India, said, “It may affect sales to an extent. But this will not impact our plan to launch a compact SUV in the next financial year (2013-14). A three per cent increase means the consumer will have to pay more but we have faith in the Indian economy’s growth. The rich will get richer. We don’t see a major impact in the long term.”

Nissan, along with its alliance partner Renault, has made an investment commitment of Rs 4,500 crore in India by 2016.

Last year, Renault launched Duster, a compact SUV, which has had a successful run.

Fuel prices

Rising fuel prices is a cause for concern, as it affects consumer sentiments, said Ishida, on the sidelines of Nissan’s safety drive programme. The two-day programme (conducted at a shopping mall in the city) aims to educate drivers and passengers on the importance of safe driving.

Similar programmes have been organised in Delhi and Mumbai. The Japanese carmaker has invested Rs 7 crore on this initiative.

Nissan cars have several in-built safety features such as anti-lock braking system and airbags, said G. Sanjay, Head – Marketing, Hover Automotive India, the exclusive distributor of Nissan.

“Globally, Nissan’s cars have certain advanced features. They can detect objects on the path while backing up. The cars maintain safe distance from other vehicles. They automatically slow down so that they don’t bump into the car in front. Nissan is working on bringing these features to India too,” said Sanjay.

Published on March 02, 2013

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